Falls Church High School Fame: the MusicalBy Cappies • May 9th, 2007 • Category: Cappies
Whether “in L.A.” or New York, love, despair, triumph and failure are always the price of Fame. Fame: the Musical is based on the 1980 silver screen flick, Fame, by Alan Parker. It was originally launched at West End in 1995. Since then, it has been seen by nearly 4 million people and has been nominated for two Laurence Olivier awards. It has also completed many United Kingdom and regional tours, opened off-Broadway and had Philadelphia and Miami openings. It was also the first American musical to be done fully in Portuguese.
Fame follows the dreams and heartaches of star-bound pupils attending the old New York City High school of Performing Arts as they desperately attempt to gain “fame” and “live forever.”
Falls Church High School’s 35-member cast was anchored by its exceptional female voices. Even with the obstacle of sound difficulty and the inability of many actors to project their voices, the ensemble members always maintained their composure and remained in character.
Danielle Pettiway, as the sassy cocaine-addicted survivor Carmen Diaz, and Max Oppenheimer as struggling violist, Schlomo Metzenbaum, created distinct characters onstage while struggling through their relationship.
Other actors, such as Lani Street (Serena Katz), Courtney Franklin (Mabel Washington), and Eric Holl (Goody) added depth and comedy to the show. Tiffany Jones, as Miss Sherman, stood out as she embraced her character while singing, “These are my Children.” Although some voices were off pitch and struggled to hit their notes, the entire ensemble succeeded, especially on numbers such as “There She Goes/Fame” and “Bring on Tomorrow.”
The timely lighting cues, swift scene changes, and rarely seen stage crew made the show flow smoothly, never leaving an empty stage. Ending on a bitter-sweet note, Falls Church’s production of Fame proved that it’s “hard work” to put on a successful musical, and this was no exception.
by Steven Einhorn of Robert E. Lee
This review was written by a Cappies high school critic. The Cappies were founded in 1999, for the purpose of celebrating high school theater arts and providing a learning opportunity for theater and journalism students. You can learn more at cappies.com.
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