Review: Fame

Based on the film and classic TV series, Fame follows the trials and tribulations of a group of young students studying at the New York School of Performing Arts as they hone their skills in music, dance and acting, as well as falling in love, clashing with the establishment, battling personal demons and dabbling in the dark side of fame. The early 80’s set story focusses on the challenges faced by the students in their academic and artistic studies and their personal lives, including drug use, unrequited love and illiteracy, as they make their way through their time at school.

The show boasts around 20 songs which flow in rapid succession, with the opening number setting the modern and contemporary tone of the show nicely; whilst Tyrone’s Rap and Dancin’ on the Sidewalk were up-tempo numbers, both of which were infused with a display of hip hop and street dancing. But the standout songs were Mica Paris’ powerful performance of These Are My Children and the closing number, Bring On Tomorrow,  being a traditional rousing conclusion to the proceedings.

Despite its 1980’s setting, the show looked and sounded bang up to date, using a variety of musical styles and vocal gymnastics, the soundtrack reflected a modern style; whilst, with barely a leg warmer or a taxi cab in sight, the dance routines covered a wide variety of styles, from hip hop and street dancing to classical ballet and a flamenco inspired number.  

With some enjoyable and enthusiastic performances from the young cast, including Stephanie Rojas as Carmen and Morgan Jackson who made his stage presence felt with his slick moves amongst the ensemble dancers, Fame is a youthful, fresh, funky, fun slice of escapism which resonates with its target audience and had people singing and dancing their way out of the theatre.

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