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Historical images & scenes from the first production put on by Stumptown Stages Portland, Oregon 2015

Watch This Important Video: "Why You Want See Soul Harmony"

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    Harrison-Berg Presents

Soul Harmony

The Story of Deborah Chessler, Sonny Til and the Orioles.

A New Musical


(Performances June 20 – July 1, 2018. Rehearsals begin in West Chester on May 31, 2018)

Starring Monica Rodrigues As Deborah Chessler


De’Sean Dooley As Sonny Til (his Grandfather!)


The Orioles:

Jesse Smith As George Nelson

Kyle McLemore As Tommy Gaither

Michael Barnes As Alex Sharp

Rakeem Lawrence As Johnny Reed

Lisa Dennet As Irene Chessler

Stacie Pickney Calkins As Ella Fitzgerald and Ruth Brown

 Deborah Charleston As Faye Adams

 Morgan MacConnell As Helen Stern

 Ali Hackett As Willie Bryant

Joel Katz As Jerry Blaine and Ray Carroll


AND Charlie Horner As Charlie Horner


Directed and Choreographed By Terence Kelley


Created By Michael Allen Harrison and Alan Berg


Visual Design By Paul Fardig


Costumes By Karla Shapiro Green


Set Design By Eli Green


Graphics By Terence Knoles


Stage Management By Rafael Schneider


Classic R&B Songs By Deborah Chessler

Story By Alan Berg, Michael Allen Harrison,

Deborah Chessler and De’Sean Dooley.

Music By Michael Allen Harrison

Book and Lyrics By Alan Berg

Lyrics When You Allow A Someone By Michael Allen Harrison

Additional Lyrics By Janet Mouser

Soul Harmony: The Story of Deborah Chessler

Sonny TIl and the Orioles

© 2018 Alan Berg and Michael Allen Harrison.

Classic R&B Songs By Deborah Chessler

First production performed with Stumptown Stages in Portland, Oregon in April 2015



2015 PAMTA


B E S T  S C O R E


B E S T  O R C H E S T R A T I O N S


B O O K   &   L Y R I C S   B Y  

A L A N   B E R G / J A N E T   M O U S E R 

 M U S I C   &   L Y R I C S   B Y  

M I C H A E L   A L L E N   H A R R I S O N

Sonny Til And The Orioles, Deborah Chessler receiving an award

"Soul Harmony” is an original musical about the music that gave birth to rhythm and blues. In the late 1940s, an unlikely partnership between a young Jewish woman named Deborah Chessler and a dynamic black male vocal group called Sonny Til and The Orioles gave birth to a new genre of music that would ignite a generation. “Soul Harmony” reveals their rise to music nobility and the role they and their music played in challenging segregation in the American South. The Apollo Theater had a significant role in their story.

The Orioles Crying in The Chapel soared up the charts in 1953 becoming an unforgettable #1 hit and just one piece to an unforgettable story. Their history making hit It’s Too Soon to Know written by Deborah Chessler started the whole adventure.

Deborah, Sonny and The Orioles, Tommy Gaither, Johnny Reed, Alex Sharp and George Nelson were ahead of their time. They were trailblazers of modern music and of a larger movement that confronted a divided country. Soul Harmony not only chronicles The Orioles rise to music nobility, but reveals the role they and their music played in challenging segregation and Jim Crow, and ultimately in bringing people together all across America.

The role of Sonny Til is played by DeSean Dooley.

DeSean is Sonny's Grandson and carries his grandfathers vocal DNA.

We premiered this show with Stumptown Stages in Portland, Oregon in April 2015 to sold out shows and won 4 Musical Theater Awards for our efforts.


Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael Allen Harrison, Alan Berg and Janet Mouser.


Staring Monica Rodrigues as Deborah Chessler,

And PAMTA Award winner

De’Sean Dooley as his Grandfather Sonny Til.


Featuring Julianne Johnson-Weiss


Directed and Choreography by Terence Kelley

Musical Direction, Conducted and Piano

By Michael Allen Harrison.

P H O T O S   B Y   P A U L   F A R D I G   &   J E N   O L S E N 

P R E S S:

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