Bruce Sussman

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Bruce Howard Sussman
Born (1949-07-12) July 12, 1949 (age 73)
Jackson Heights, Queens, New York
EducationFranklin and Marshall College (1971)
OccupationLyricist, librettist
SpouseRob Shuter

Bruce Howard Sussman (born July 12, 1949) is an American lyricist, and librettist. Though he has collaborated with numerous composers, he is probably best known for his work with his long-time collaborator, Barry Manilow. Together they have written over two hundred songs for numerous recording artists, films, stage musicals and television programs.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Sussman was born in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York and was raised on Long Island, where he graduated from Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, New York.[2] He then graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[3]

Upon his return to New York, he was accepted into the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. During this period he met Barry Manilow, and they began writing jingles and songs together. Among their first successes was Copacabana (At the Copa) which became Sussman's first gold record as well as a Grammy Award-winning, international hit.[4] It would later become the source material for a made-for-television film musical of the same title, a one-act casino show, and then a two-act stage musical for which he co-authored the book and lyrics with Manilow and Jack Feldman. The show ran for two years at the Prince of Wales Theatre on London's West End before extensive tours of Britain and the United States.[5]

Also for the stage, he co-authored with Feldman the song scores for Ted Tally’s ‘’Coming Attractions’’—which starred Christine Baranski, Jonathan Hadary and Griffin Dunne-- and Wendy Wasserstein’s first musical, ‘’Miami’’—which starred Phyllis Newman, Marcia Lewis, Fisher Stevens, and Jane Krakowski. Both shows were produced by André Bishop at Playwrights Horizons off-Broadway. He also contributed a song to Howard Crabtree's off-Broadway and London productions of Whoop-Dee-Doo! Most recently, he is the author of the book and lyrics for ’’Harmony,’’ a musical about The Comedian Harmonists. The show had developmental productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, the Alliance Theatre, and the Ahmanson Theatre.[6] It is scheduled to make its New York debut, in a production directed by Warren Carlyle, at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in March 2022.[7]

With Manilow he also wrote song scores for the animated films Thumbelina and The Pebble and the Penguin, as well as a song for Disney’s Oliver and Company.

Personal life[edit]

In 1994, Sussman met entertainment columnist, Rob Shuter, in Edinburgh, Scotland. They were married on October 29, 2011.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Xenos, Christina (1 April 2014). "Celebrity Interview: Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman". SoCalPulse. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  2. ^ Grant, Jason. "After 129 Years, a Dog Has Its Day", The New York Times, February 13, 2005. Accessed October 27, 2019.
  3. ^ Common Hour (September 19, 2014). "Common Hour: First There Was Harmony—From F&M to a Career in the Arts". youtube. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  4. ^ "Search Results for barry manilow". GRAMMY.com.
  5. ^ "Manilow and Sussman Control Harmony Musical Again; Is It Broadway-Bound?". Playbill.com. February 19, 2004. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  6. ^ Byrd, Craig (12 March 2014). "Curtain Call: Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman Discuss Their Musical in Perfect "Harmony" Los Angeles Magazine". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  7. ^ Willman, Chris (12 August 2021). "Barry Manilow's 'Harmony' Musical Will Finally Get Its First NYC Run in Spring 2022 Variety". Variety. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  8. ^ Shuter, Rob. "Rob & Bruce Wedding". Video. Bruce16773. Retrieved 30 October 2011.