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FringeNext: The Color of Harmony (Review)

By Stacy Sims · June 3rd, 2011 · Fringe
The Color of Harmony kicked off the first-ever FringeNext series of shows. FringeNext is a new Fringe category that invites performances produced, created, and performed by high school students. It was presented in the black box theatre of the new School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) by the next generation of theatre artists.

But there is nothing particularly new about this story of a 19th-century French blind boy who sings colors and works to restore harmony in his shattered family and that works to its favor. The Color of Harmony is neither edgy nor controversial. Instead, it is a sweet and earnest tale of hope and family, the importance of art and education, and good, old- fashioned redemption.

The Color of Harmony is based on an award-winning short story by senior SCPA creative writing major Emilie Clark which she adapted into this charming 60-minute play.

Directors Aly Hilgefort and Carly Sheinman, also graduating seniors, did a fine job keeping the story of two motherless children and their grief-stricken, drunken father moving and eliciting earnest performances from a cast of fifth-graders to seniors.

The blind boy, Raphael (Bradley Mingo), has never seen colors but can sing them, thanks to the instruction of his mother (played by the lovely voiced Katie Grooms) before she died. Raphael sings for money in the town square, and there he meets an elderly painter (Adam Funck). They form a synaesthetic friendship that serves both their art and the story of the secrets of each of their pasts.

When Raphael sings the colors to his elderly painter friend, it would have been nice to have been able to hear more distinction in the music and vocals so that “purple” had a more distinct melody than, say, “orange.” But in the end, The Color of Harmony is melodious and hopeful fare.



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