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In Perfect HArmony

Emilie Terhaar | Thursday, April 11, 2013



Scene Writer

Saturday night, Washington Hall, 8:00p.m. “Pitch Perfect” meets “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”.  Last year, over 250 people attended the part improv, part a cappella collaboration show between Notre Dame’s Humor Artists and a cappella group Halftime.  This year, twice as long has been spent planning the performance.  More time was spent writing the script, which includes twice as many songs, twice as many crossovers of actors taking on singing roles, singers performing improvisational scenes and everyone dancing.  There has been over a week of rehearsals putting the two hour show together.

One might wonder how it is possible to plan and rehearse for an improvisational musical performance.  How is something improvised if there is a script and rehearsals?  Halftime club member Dagny Nagengast explains  “the script holds the scenes together, it lets us know who is supposed to be on stage, and for how long.”  The script tells a broad story about an improv group and an a cappella group working with each other.  One improv actor, Alec Vanthournout, and an a cappella performer, Grace Foster, are at odds with each other, trying to break up the collaboration of the groups.  Alec, because he hates singing; Grace, because she hates humor.  A mysterious cloaked figure, Ra’Him Khan, guides the plot forward from the shady corners and dark depths of the stage.  

Within this larger frame of a story, individual scenes allow for either a song by Halftime, a collaborative song by Halftime and some of the Humor Artists together, or some Improv games (some scenes may even have all three!).  Improv games typically last three to five minutes, and are entirely unscripted, un-rehearsed venues for silliness.

The script for the show was written by several of the Humor Artists: Alec Vanthournout, Brian “Brodgers” Rodgers, Stephen “Paco” Elser, and Saad Khan.  Vanthournout said the script takes the actual Humor Artists and Halftime members, and creates caricatures exaggerating their best, worst and funniest features.  While the show will still be funny for anyone who goes attends, it should be even funnier for people who know members of the Humor Artists or Halftime.

This performance promises to be unlike any other event at Notre Dame.  Brian Rodgers says how they aimed to create a collaboration that showcased different forms of talent in a way other student performances are unable to.  The Keenan Revue is a sketch comedy.  We have student stand up comics.  We have the Humor Artist’s regular Improv shows.  Notre Dame has various choirs and a cappella groups.  We have bands.  We have the student players and other drama clubs.  There are dance teams, dance collectives and dance troops.  

But this show is entirely different.  It will have humor, improv, drama, scripted acting, comedians singing, singers being comical and everyone will dance.  You will laugh, you will cry, you will have a really, really good time.

If you are a fan of “Glee,” or Marx Brothers’ movies, musicals, or comedy, or if you enjoy laughing or fun, then come see the show!  Tickets will be available today and tomorrow at the box office in Washington Hall for $2, and will continue to be sold until the show starts. 

Contact Emilie Terhaar at                                  eterhaar@nd.edu