Fame (musical)

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Fame
The Musical

Conception David De Silva
MusicSteve Margoshes
LyricsJacques Levy
BookJose Fernandez
Productions

1988 Miami, Florida
1989 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1993 Stockholm
1995 West End
1996 UK National Tour
1997 US Cast European Tour
1997 West End revival
1999 US Regional Tour
2000 UK National Tour
2000 West End revival
2001 US Regional Tour
2001 UK National Tour
2003 U.S. Tour
2003 West End revival
2003 Off-Broadway
2004 West End revival
2005 West End revival
2006 CBA of Puerto Rico revival
2006 Tallinn, Estonia
2007 UK Tour
2007 West End
2007 Gdynia, Poland
2008 Paris, France revival
2008 China (in Mandarin)
2009 York
2009 Nov 18-21 Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (in Cantonese)
2009 China Tour
2010 Paris
2010 Tour
2010 Monte Carlo, Monaco
2010 Irish Tour
2010 Fall River, Massachusetts
2011 Hazlitt Youth Theatre [2]
2011 Bangkok, Thailand

2011 Seoul, Korea
2012 Sweden World Premiere Silent & Hearing Theatre Production
2012 Brazil
12/17/12 Athens,Greece Theatron
 
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Fame
The Musical

Conception David De Silva
MusicSteve Margoshes
LyricsJacques Levy
BookJose Fernandez
Productions

1988 Miami, Florida
1989 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1993 Stockholm
1995 West End
1996 UK National Tour
1997 US Cast European Tour
1997 West End revival
1999 US Regional Tour
2000 UK National Tour
2000 West End revival
2001 US Regional Tour
2001 UK National Tour
2003 U.S. Tour
2003 West End revival
2003 Off-Broadway
2004 West End revival
2005 West End revival
2006 CBA of Puerto Rico revival
2006 Tallinn, Estonia
2007 UK Tour
2007 West End
2007 Gdynia, Poland
2008 Paris, France revival
2008 China (in Mandarin)
2009 York
2009 Nov 18-21 Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (in Cantonese)
2009 China Tour
2010 Paris
2010 Tour
2010 Monte Carlo, Monaco
2010 Irish Tour
2010 Fall River, Massachusetts
2011 Hazlitt Youth Theatre [2]
2011 Bangkok, Thailand

2011 Seoul, Korea
2012 Sweden World Premiere Silent & Hearing Theatre Production
2012 Brazil
12/17/12 Athens,Greece Theatron

A stage musical based on the 1980 musical film Fame has been staged under two titles. The first, 'Fame – The Musical' conceived and developed by David De Silva, is a musical with a book by Jose Fernandez, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy. The musical premiered in 1988 in Miami, Florida. as 'Fame on 42nd Street', it was performed Off-Broadway from 2003 to 2004.[1][2]

De Silva had produced the 1980 film about students at New York City's High School of Performing Arts. The critically and commercially successful film was followed by a six-season television series,[3] and the musical. The musical is significantly rewritten from the previous adaptations, with an almost entirely new score. The film is referred to several times in the script and in two songs.[4]

It tells the story of several students who attend the High School of Performing Arts, among them fame-obsessed drug addict Carmen, ambitious actress Serena, wisecracking comedian Joe, quiet, saintly violinist Schlomo, and "talented but dyslexic" dancer Tyrone.[4]

Since its first production, Fame – The Musical has had hundreds of professional and amateur productions in several languages.[5]

US Productions[edit]

The publishing company had advertised the scripts as being available later that year, but JHS Director Patricia Miller convinced them to let Jeff High produce the first performance. ACT 1 was sent unbound and mostly unedited, and subsequent parts of the play were sent 10 pages at a time.[6]

In 1988, Fame – the Musical was the first professional production at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida. The original cast included Monique Cintron as Carmen Diaz, Joel Malina as Schlomo Metzenbaum, Janet Metz as Serena Katz, Tener Brown as Iris Kelly, and Harold Perrineau Jr. as Tyrone Jackson.[7]

It went back to its roots in 2010 with sold-out productions in Kendall. The Miami Children's Theater worked with the esteemed Christine Vega, Ana Flavia, and Cherilyn Marrocco.[citation needed]

Following this, the show ran at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from March 25, through April 29, 1989; the show was termed "a hit".[7][8]

The show ran Off-Broadway at the Little Shubert Theatre from October 7, 2003 (previews), November 11, 2003 (official), through June 27, 2004, for 264 performances and 40 previews. Directed by Drew Scott Harris, conducted by Eric Knight Barnes, the cast included Shakiem Evans as Tyrone Jackson, Nicole Leach, Cheryl Freeman, and Christopher J. Hanke. Marque Lynche as Tyrone Jackson was a replacement. This version was titled Fame on 42nd Street (the Little Shubert Theatre is on 42 Street).[9][10][11]

A North American tour, produced by Phoenix Theatricals, began in September 2003 and played in 100 cities.[10][12]

As part of MTI's (Music Theatre International) Broadway Junior Series a 60 minute version of FAME was developed for Middle Schools (grades 6-9) and published in September 2011. Since 2012 over 200 productions of FAME JR were licensed in North America.[13]

Sequel[edit]

David De Silva has conceived a sequel, Fame Forever -Talent Springs Eternal, with a book by Ben H. Winters, and music by Steve Margoshes.[14] It was first performed by Glasgow's Apollo Players at the Kings Theatre in 2007. The American debut of the sequel, titled Fame Forever - Talent Springs Eternal (formerly Reunion and Rebirth) played September 21–30, 2007, at the Waterville Opera House, Waterville, Maine.[15][16] It also received a co-debut at The Players of Sarasota in Sarasota, Florida opening around the same time, but running to October 7, 2007. This show was directed by Thomas DeWyane Barrett.[17] The English premiere was originally produced at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne by a local group called The Rattonians. Nashville's The Circle Players produced FAME FOREVER in 2011[18] The first professional cast recording was produced by the Father Fame Foundation in 2013. To listen or download this CD go to: http://www.famenetwork.com

Plot summary[edit]

Note: the plot outlined below is for the professional script. The amateur production has slight differences in the script.

Act I

A group of vibrant, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, energetic young people gather to audition to study at New York City's High School of Performing Arts. Miss Sherman, the homeroom teacher, warns the freshman class that it takes a lot more than dreams to succeed at "P.A." The students acknowledge that it takes ("Hard Work"). Before Algebra class, Serena meets Nick Piazza, he explains his passion for the performing arts and tells her he wants his acting to move people emotionally ("I Want to Make Magic"). Mr. Myers, the drama teacher, asks them to think about how a physical sensation can trigger an emotional response. Joe discusses the physical reactions that happen whenever he thinks of a beautiful girl (Carmen) in dance class ("Can't Keep it Down" or the alternative lyrics, "Can't Keep It Cool"). Meanwhile, in dance class Tyrone can't get to grips with Ballet and states that he can do better, resulting in the whole class doing a hip hop dance. This makes Miss Bell sees Tyrone's potential as a choreographer, so she partners him with Iris, a ballerina. Iris mocks Tyrone's lack of classical dance experience. Enraged at her comments, he begins a rap expressing his anger ("Tyrone's Rap"). Iris apologizes and confesses that she is not really rich, but scared and they share a kiss.

At lunch, Carmen, a self-assured, cocky Latina spitfire, asks Mr. Meyers if she can skip class on Friday to audition for West Side Story, he tells her that it would just be another role for her to hide behind. Carmen, enraged, dreams of seeing her name in lights and people gasping as she walks down the street ("There She Goes/Fame"). The other students join in her fantasy and begin an exciting, electrifying dance.

Serena and Nick are rehearsing another scene and Serena confesses that she wants to try something romantic and passionate. Serena is in love with Nick, but Nick is mainly focused on acting. Serena laments her unrequited love ("Let's Play a Love Scene"). Afterwards, Carmen interrupts Schlomo while he practices his violin, giving him lyrics that she wrote for the melody he always plays. Schlomo tries them out, and changes some of the lyrics with Carmen, which results in Carmen joining the band. Carmen kisses Schlomo and leaves. Goody (also in the band, along with Lambchops) makes fun of Schlomo afterwards. At lunch, Carmen and the other students daydream of seeing their names in lights. Schlomo sings a song he wrote which excites the entire student body ("There She Goes/Fame"). In the hallway, Miss Sherman talks to Tyrone about his care-free attitude towards education. She threatens to keep him out of the Fall Festival if his grades don't improve. Miss Bell overhears and argues that Tyrone's artistic endeavors are more important than his academic performance ("The Teachers' Argument"). Tyrone threatens to drop out of school.

Act II

The students begin their junior year with the P.A. Fall Festival ("I Want to Make Magic").

At a dance rehearsal, Mabel, an overweight dancer, complains about retaining water, and other problems she faces with the size of her body. She confesses that, although she tries many weight-loss schemes and diets, she always goes back to the "Seafood Diet: I see food, and then I eat it!" She prays aloud for God's help in keeping her from becoming "the world's fattest dancer" ("Mabel's Prayer"), eventually having an epiphany and deciding to switch her major to acting. Later, Nick congratulates Serena for getting the lead female role of Juliet in their junior show, Romeo and Juliet. Serena gets excited and assumes that Nick got the role of Romeo. However, she is surprised to learn that Joe Vegas has the role of Romeo and Nick got the part of Mercutio. Lambchops suggests that Nick is gay, and when Serena confronts him about it, Nick angrily replies that he is straight. Serena is so angry decides to channel it into her acting ("Think of Meryl Streep"). Carmen tells Schlomo of her plan to leave school and go to Los Angeles. She has met a Hollywood agent named Elliot Greene, who is sending her a plane ticket. Schlomo begs her not to go. He had seen her getting into Elliot’s limousine and accuses her of using cocaine with him. Schlomo tells Carmen he loves her, but is left alone with his violin/flute/keyboard (depending on what the actor can actually play).

In English class, Tyrone is reading a Superman comic book. Miss Sherman catches him, and forces him to stand up in front of the class and read from the comic book. He accuses her of trying to make him look stupid. He then accuses her of racism, Miss Sherman slaps him in the face and, shocked by what she has done, runs off. Tyrone says to his classmates he doesn’t need her help, or the ability to read or write - he is a dancer, and that's all he needs (“Dancin’ on the Sidewalk.”). Confronting his pain and frustration, Tyrone goes to the blackboard, writes “I WILL READ,” and runs off. Miss Sherman enters, sees what he has written, and is deeply touched. (“These Are My Children.”)

The students rehearse Romeo and Juliet. Joe, insecure playing Romeo, has been ad-libbing. Serena pleads with him to be serious in the part. Nick offers to show him how to play Romeo and winds up kissing Serena in their first romantic moment. Tyrone asks Iris why she has been avoiding him all year. She says she doesn’t want to be tied to a loser. To show her that he is serious, he tells her he is repeating his senior year and reads a passage of Leaves of Grass to her. They dance a pas de deux and walk off together, hand in hand.

A few of the teachers confront Miss Bell about influencing a summer school teacher to pass Tyrone. They insist he must repeat the year. The "Dance Theater of Harlem" is ready to take him, but he must repeat the year. Miss Bell finally admits she may be losing her perspective and decides to take a break. Carmen is standing in front of the school looking physically wasted and disoriented. She spots Schlomo and tells him the truth about her experiences in Hollywood ("In L.A."). Carmen promises him that she will quit the drugs and get her GED. He gives her a couple of dollars and sadly departs.

At the farewell party, everyone is dressed up and the celebration is loud and festive. Nick confesses his feelings to Serena and they decided to try to date although they are heading to different colleges ("Let's Play a Love Scene" (Reprise)). On the day of the graduation ceremony, Schlomo tells everyone that Carmen has died a short while ago from a drug overdose, and they sing "Bring On Tomorrow" in her memory.

After the bows, Carmen comes back dancing on the roof of a taxi cab and sings "Fame" with Schlomo for the Finale. The students are all heading off in their respective directions, excited about the future.

Characters[edit]

Source: MTI [4]

Musical numbers[edit]

Act I
  • Pray I Make P.A (Prologue) - Nick, Serena, Joe, Mabel and Carmen
  • Hard Work - Company
  • I Want to Make Magic - Nick
  • Can't Keep It Down - Joe, Students
  • Tyrone's Rap - Tyrone
  • There She Goes! - Carmen
  • Fame - Carmen, students
  • Let's Play a Love Scene -Serena
  • Bring on Tomorrow - Schlomo, Carmen
  • Teacher's Argument - Miss Bell, Miss Sherman
  • Hard Work (Reprise) - Company
Act 2
  • I Want to Make Magic (Reprise) - Nick, Serena, and Company
  • Mabel's Prayer - Mabel, Students
  • Think of Meryl Streep - Serena
  • Dancin' on the Sidewalk - Tyrone(or Jack) and students
  • These Are My Children - Miss Sherman
  • Pas de Deux - Tyrone and Iris
  • In L.A. - Carmen and Schlomo
  • Let's Play a Love Scene (Reprise) - Nick and Serena
  • Bring on Tomorrow (Reprise) - Schlomo
  • Finale: Hard Work/Fame (Reprise) - Carmen and Company

The music used in the Dance Class is based on Beethoven's Spring Sonata. Also, the Pas De Deux uses music from the ballet "This Is Forever" by Steve Margoshes. However, some productions use music for the Pas De Deux by Mark Berman.[19]

Some productions such as Fame on 42nd Street use the song "There She Goes! (Reprise)" (also known as "The Fall Festival") as an alternative to "I Want to Make Magic (Reprise)". This version has a more Spanish theme to the song. However, it still contains elements of the "I Want to Make Magic (Reprise)" in it.

Instrumentation[edit]

The instrumentation calls for a rock combo of nine musicians. The instrumentation calls for two keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, a woodwind player, trumpet/flugelhorn player, and trombone. The first keyboard part can be played by the conductor. The woodwind player doubles on flute, clarinet, soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone.

Productions around the world[edit]

The musical has had productions in nearly 25 countries, such as Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Norway, Switzerland, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Finland, Estonia and the Czech Republic.[5]

In January 1993, a large-scale production of the musical made its European debut in Stockholm, Sweden, running for four years. The show came to the attention of choreographer-director Runar Borge, who has subsequently staged the show in numerous productions worldwide.

[20] The West End production was nominated for three Laurence Olivier Awards. The UK productions have had a total box office gross of £56 million through 2006. Since 1995, the musical has had seven separate West End runs, including a long run at the Aldwych Theatre from 2002 to 2006, the Cambridge, the Prince of Wales, the Shaftesbury Theatre, Victoria Palace, and a number of UK national and international tours. Well-known cast members in various productions have included Miguel Ayesa as Schlomo, Noel Sullivan as Serena, and Barbara Dickson as Miss Sherman.[21]}

An Italian production opened in Pavia, at Teatro Fraschini, directed by Gigi Saccomandi and Luigi Perego on September 20, 2003. A new version of the musical opened in Pavia directed by Bruno Fornasari on June 23, 2004, and toured Italy until March 2006.

A Spanish production in Catalan ran at Teatro Tivoli in Barcelona from April 27, 2004 to September 26, 2004, directed by Ramon Ribalta. It reopened in Madrid in Spanish at Teatro Calderon February 1, 2006, and toured Spain until January 11, 2009.[5]

The Estonian production opened in Tallinn in November 2006 to a good critical acclaim. The Estonian cast contained Nele-Liis Vaiksoo as Serena, Rolf Roosalu as Schlomo and Kaire Vilgats as Miss Esther Sherman.

A Portuguese production was created in 2005 with Portuguese dialogue and the original English musics.[22] In 2008 the musical was brought back with some famous Portuguese names in the cast, like Patrícia Candoso as Serena and Fernando Fernandes as Schlomo.[23]

In 2006, contestants from various seasons of the popular Puerto Rican television singing contest "Objetivo Fama" did a Spanish language production of the musical, entitled "Fama - El Musical" in the Centro de Bellas Artes in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was a three-night only engagement and was met with positive reviews by the press and fans alike.[24][25]

An Italian production directed by Marco Daverio opened in Milan in December 2006 and toured through February 2007. It reopened on February 2, 2008 in Savona and toured through the end of the month.[5]

The musical opened on May 4, 2007, for a summer production at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's West End.[26] The show is directed by Karen Bruce, and the cast includes Ian Watkins as Schlomo, Natalie Casey as Serena, Fem Belling as Mabel, and Jacqui Dubois as Miss Sherman.[27]

In 2007, A Dutch talent search competition called De Weg Naar Fame auditioned a large number of people in order to give four winners the chance to play Schlomo, Serena, Mabel, and Tyrone in the 2008 Dutch Tour of Fame. The show gave the finalists dance, vocal and acting training, and the three finalists for each character performed a piece from the musical in front of a panel of judges who made the final decision.[28] The Dutch version includes Hein Gerrits as Schlomo, Kim-Lian van der Meij as Carmen, William Spaay as Joe, Doris Baaten as Miss Sherman, and Daphne Flint as Serena. Jim Bakkum understudied Schlomo.[29]

On April 4, 2008 Fame opened in Paris at the Teatre Comedia.[30]

In December 2008 The Nederlander Co with the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing presented the first FAME The Musical Production in Mandarin. [3] Subsequently, a documentary, The Road to FAME, was filmed by Hao Wu following the students preparation of the musical and how it effects the students' lives. It was presented in 2013 at the IFC Center in NYC [31]

A new UK touring production started in January 2009.[32]

Auditions are currently underway for the Australian Revival Tour in Australia, which is planned to open in Melbourne in April 2010, then travel to Sydney and Brisbane. The show is to be choreographed by "So You Think You Can Dance"’s Kelley Abbey.

The show is currently touring Italy and Sicily for 2009/10. This version will include Benjamin Newsome as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum'.

The show had its first Irish tour starting in the Grand Canal Theatre Dublin from 19 August 2010 to 12 September 2010. The characters of Nick and Serena were played by Ben Morris and Jessica Cervi winners of RTÉ's Fame: The Musical reality TV show.[33] Other cast members included: Sheila Ferguson, Lisa Gorgin, Brittany Woodrow, Taofique Folarin, James Gibbs, Charlotte Watts, Yemie Sonuga, Fra Fee, Hollie Taylor, Tara Young, Chris Jeffers, Aaron Parker, Hannah Wilson, Jaye Elster, Sarah Wilkie and Nicholas Collier. The show was directed by Brian Flynn and choreographed by Gary Lloyd, who has previously worked on the hit show Thriller – Live. The tour ended in Wexford Opera House on 14th November 2010.

The show had a brief run at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London, between the 18th and the 20th of August, 2011, with a cast of youths from the Hammersmith and Fulham community.

In September 2011, "Fame The Musical" played at M Theatre in Bangkok Thailand, with the casts coming from True Academy Fantasia (AF) and KPN Awards. This version includes Nat Sakdatorn as 'Nick Piazza'. "Fame The Musical" in Thai version produced by Dreambox.

From 25 November 2011 to 29 January 2012 the musical played Woori Financial Art Hall, Seoul South Korea, starring Eunhyuk of Super Junior, Tiffany of Girls' Generation, Son Ho Young, Go Eun Seong, Kim Chan Ho, Shin Ui Jeong, Lina of The Grace, Choi Ju Ri, KoN and Kim Jung Mo of TRAX.[34]

On May 5, 2012 in Orebro, Sweden, FAME The Musical opened in Orebro, Sweden at the Tyst Theatr with a World Swedish Sign Language Premiere Production,"Visukal" for the Hearing Impaired | FAME VISUKALEN[35]

Fame O Musical (in Portuguese) opened in São Paulo, Brazil 5/21/12 at Teatro Frei Caneca produced jointly by the Ministry of Culture and 4Act Productions under the general coordination of Ricardo Marques. It was directed by Billy Johnstone with choreography by Guto Muniz and musical direction by Paulo Nogueira. Assisting the director was Gustavo Torres and the vocal coach was Rafael Villar.[36]

FAME in the Greek Language opened in Athens at the Theatron on12/17/12.[37]

Fame-The Musical will return to the UK opening Feb 20 in London at the New Wimbledon Theatre.[38]

Recordings[edit]

Information taken from CastAlbums.org

Award nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BroadwayWorld.com: Fame on 42nd Street
  2. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Fame to End Off-Broadway Run June 27", Playbill, June 22, 2004
  3. ^ Paulsen, Wade. "NBC president says 'Fame' 'did not work'", RealityTVWorld.com, July 25, 2003
  4. ^ a b c MTI Shows.com mtishows.com, accessed October 15, 2012
  5. ^ a b c d FameNetwork.com: Productions
  6. ^ News and Tribune
  7. ^ a b FameNetwork.com: Miami/Philadelphia Production, accessed May 13, 2009
  8. ^ Havard, Bernard and Sylvester, Mark D. Walnut Street Theatre (2008), Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 0-7385-5770-6, p. 116
  9. ^ Fame, Little Shubert, 2003-04 Internet Off-Broadway Database listing, accessed August 4, 2009
  10. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth."Remember My Name: Fame Begins Off-Bway Run Oct. 7", playbill.com, October 7, 2003
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew.Fame on 42nd Street Ends Its Run June 27 Playbill.com, June 27, 2004
  12. ^ FameNetwork.com: "100 city tour" accessed August 4, 2009
  13. ^ http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000379
  14. ^ Fame Forever, Music Theatre International, accessed July 31, 2013
  15. ^ FameNetwork.com: Morning Sentinel, Kennebec, Maine, review
  16. ^ Operahouse.org: Waterville Opera House listing, Fame Forever - Talent Springs Eternal' (formerly Reunion and Rebirth) accessed August 4, 2009[dead link]
  17. ^ Rife, Susan. Herald Tribune: "'Fame Forever' needs some tuning", September 29, 2007
  18. ^ http://www.famenetwork.com/currentbuzz/jaz.php
  19. ^ Information on Musical Numbers
  20. ^ Stageagent.com
  21. ^ http://www.famenetwork.com
  22. ^ FameMusical.com: "Portugal listing" accessed August 4, 2009
  23. ^ Fame - O musical (official website)
  24. ^ "Jenilca" (in Spanish). Wilma Gonzalez. 2005. Archived from the original on 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2013. 
  25. ^ "Esteban Núnez sacado de "Fama, el musical"". PrimeraHora.com. 2006-08-01. Retrieved 2013. 
  26. ^ ThisIsTheatre.com
  27. ^ Review of the 2007 London production londontheatre.co.uk
  28. ^ Official website for Dutch talent search competition 'De Weg Naar Fame'
  29. ^ Theater hits Dutch production listing
  30. ^ Famenetwork.com: Current Buzz
  31. ^ http://www.docnyc.net/film/the-road-to-fame/#.UscU1PZk_ze
  32. ^ Fame.Binarylab.com: Fame UK tour accessed August 4, 2009[dead link]
  33. ^ "Fame the Musical". Grand Canal Theatre. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  34. ^ Lee, JinHo "Eunhyuk Attends ‘Fame’ Showcase" Mnet News. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-01
  35. ^ [1],
  36. ^ {{cite web|url=http://www.fameomusical.com.br |title=Fame - O Musical |publisher=Fameomusical.com.br |date= |accessdate=2012-08-15}}
  37. ^ https://www.facebook.com/fame.greece
  38. ^ http://www.kenwright.com/index.php?id=1362

External links[edit]