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September 14, 2010

Songsters sustain ‘Perfect Harmony’

Boston Globe (MA):

In their different ways, “Glee,’’ “Dreamgirls,’’ and “American Idol’’ have all traded on our interest in the singer behind the song.

So we are dished up back stories galore. We might learn about the hardscrabble path the character (or contestant) has traveled, the private insecurities behind the smiling public face, the romances that ended with a broken heart but that, by golly, enable him or her to sing the lyrics of torch songs with passionate conviction.

Now comes “Perfect Harmony,’’ an erratic, sometimes cheesy, but generally likable comedy at Stoneham Theatre about the backstage machinations and personal turmoil among a group of highly competitive high-schoolers at a national a cappella competition.

Originally conceived by Andrew Grosso, who directs this production, “Perfect Harmony’’ was developed in workshops involving a group of actors called “The Essentials.’’ It premiered four years ago at the New York International Fringe Festival, had a solid run on Theatre Row in 2008, and moves to off-Broadway next month.

“Perfect Harmony’’ presents a clash between the all-male Acafellas, who are 17-time national champions (“They inspired that TV show,’’ one character says early on, in an apparent reference to “Glee’’), and an underdog ensemble of female classmates called Ladies in Red (later changed to Lady Treble).

Both teams are even more revved up because this year MTV plans to broadcast the competition. But behind the scenes, inevitably, there is discord and, just as inevitably, across-enemy-lines romance. Read more.

Posted by acapnews at September 14, 2010 12:00 AM

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