|Basis||Fame, with conception by David De Silva|
|Productions||1988 Miami, Florida |
1989 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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
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 China Tour
2010 Australian Tour
2010 Monte Carlo, Monaco
2010 Irish Tour
2010 Fall River, Massachusetts
2011 Bangkok, Thailand
2011 Seoul, Korea
2012 Sweden World Premiere Silent & Hearing Theatre Production
2012 Athens,Greece Theatron
2014 UK Tour
2018 30th Anniversary UK Tour
2018 Montreal Canada St-Denis Theatre at the Juste Pour Rire Summer Festival
Fame is a stage musical based on the 1980 musical film of the same name. It 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 José Fernandez, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy. The musical premiered in 1988 in Miami, Florida. The second was as Fame on 42nd Street, where it was performed Off-Broadway at the Little Shubert Theatre on 42nd St. from 2003 to 2004.
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, 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. It tells the story of several students who attend the High School of Performing Arts, among them fame-obsessed Carmen, ambitious actress Serena, wisecracking comedian/bad boy Joe, quiet violinist Schlomo, "talented but dyslexic" dancer Tyrone, determined actor Nick, overweight dancer Mabel, and serious dancer, Iris, from a poor family. The popularity of the film has led to the creation of "FAME" Schools in Liverpool (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts).
Since its first production, Fame – The Musical has had hundreds of professional and amateur productions in every major language.
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.
In 1988, Fame – the Musical was the first professional production at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida. It was written with a new score by Steve Margoshes except for the title Academy Award winning song, "Fame," 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. 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".
The musical had a US tour directed by Lars Bethke in 1999.
It 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).
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. It has become one of the most popular shows licensed in the MTI catalog.
European musical debut came in 1993 in Stockholm, where it remained for four seasons.
It premiered in London's West End in 1995. Since then there have been seven different assemblies in that city. Among the many performers who have participated include Noel Sullivan and Barbara Dickson.
In 1998 it was performed at the Teatro de los Insurgentes, of Mexico City, under the general direction of Jaime Azpilicueta, choreography of Goyo Montero and musical direction of Jorge Aguilar, in a montage that then would tour of Latin America, including Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia and Republic Dominican. Interpreted among others by Marger Sealey, Karin Aguilar, Alejandro Cervantes, Gianni Costantini and Antonio Melenciano.
Catalan version premiered in 2004 at the Teatre Tivoli of Barcelona4 led by Coco Comin, Ramon Ribalta and Oleguer Alguersuari.5 and interpreted by Xénia García, Sergio Alcover, Ferran Gonzalez, Rolando Amauri Reinoso, Damaris Martinez, Lucy Lummis and Sonia Callizo. This same assembly, but Spanish, was mounted at the Calderon Theater in Madrid in 2006, where permaenció one year, starting after a tour of Spain that culminated again in Barcelona in 2008, this time at the Apollo Theatre .6 mounting Castilian had something new in the cast as in the case of Dafne Fernandez and Brown Cristina.
Other countries that are represented include Germany, Brazil, China, Korea, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand.
- 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 see 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. Myers 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 ("Bring on Tomorrow"), 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. 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 storms off, threatening to drop out of school, and Miss Sherman reminds the gathered crowd of students of their academic commitments ("Hard Work (Reprise)").
- Act II
The students begin their junior year with the P.A. Fall Festival ("The Junior Festival").
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 she 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.”). Miss Sherman returns and apologises for her outburst. She reveals that she believes Tyrone may have dyslexia and offers him extra help, to which Tyrone refuses and storms off. Miss Sherman pleads after him not to give up on her (“These Are My Children”).
The students rehearse Romeo and Juliet. Joe, insecure playing Romeo, has been ad-libbing. Joe starts to make fun of what he is saying, although is scared he'll mess up. 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.
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, reminding Carmen that he will always love her.
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)"). Schlomo reveals through monologue that Carmen has died of a drug overdose, and dedicates the classes' final senior song to her memory ("Bring On Tomorrow (Reprise)").
After the bows, Carmen comes back dancing on the roof of a taxi cab and sings "Fame" for the Finale.
Source: MTI 
- Carmen Diaz - She is a dancer, confident and determined to make it big. She is obsessed with fame and is confident in her abilities. Initially has a casual relationship with Tyrone, but develops returned romantic feelings for Schlomo. Also has a fling with Joe. She leaves during the middle of 11th grade and gets molested by her agent. Overdoses on heroin in the end.
- Schlomo Metzenbaum - A quiet, saintly classical violinist (or pianist or flutist, depending on the actor), who sets up the rock band, and takes on the role of caretaker to his classmates. Schlomo comes from a musical background, with a father who is a famous violinist. Schlomo is fed up with the strain of being expected to do well and wishes to rebel. Has a romantic interest in Carmen from afar. Constantly competes with Joe to win over Carmen. Does not like Joe very much but they begin to accept each other when Carmen leaves.
- Nick Piazza - A serious classical actor. He has a secret romantic interest in Serena.
- Serena Katz - A "shy" actress. Has a romantic interest in Nick. Nerdy but is very talented. Does not look too kindly on Joe.
- José 'Joe' Vegas - Spanish acting student who is the comic of the show. Comes from a bad home and is dealt the bad hand. Develops a returned crush on Carmen, but it is later revealed that it's much more than "just a crush." Does not handle his sexual feelings well either. He is also considered a bad boy and isn't liked by Serena very much.
- Tyrone Jackson - He is a hip hop dancer who is "talented but dyslexic" and comes from a poor family. Shares a love-hate relationship with Iris.
- Jack Zakowski (alternate casting for Tyrone Jackson) - A dancer who is a Russian immigrant and is "illiterate."
- Mabel Washington- A dancer and singer who is overweight and trying to lose weight "but can't resist food."
- Iris Kelly - A talented ballet dancer who is believed to be extremely wealthy although it is later revealed (in the amateur and schools edition of the script) that she is not. She appears stuck up but is actually insecure. She shares a love-hate relationship with Tyrone.
- Grace 'Lambchops' Lamb - A "rock chick and tomboy" who is the drummer for Schlomo's band. Does not take school "seriously." Develops a love-hate relationship with Goody.
- Goodman 'Goody' King - A trumpet/saxophone/guitar musician who is in Schlomo's band. Develops a love-hate relationship with Grace. Sarcastic yet sensitive at times.
- Miss Esther Sherman - A strict, old-fashioned and academic English teacher who loves her students, despite the fact that she comes down hard on them.
- Ms. Greta Bell - A dance teacher who likes different styles of dance and is "protective" of the students.
- Mr. Myers - The drama teacher. Is a "father-figure" to Joe and is encouraging the students.
- Mr. Sheinkopf - German Music tutor who loves classical music but does not like "rock and roll."
- Carmen and Serena only sing during the junior festival when the alternate (longer) versions of the songs are used in the production.
†In Some productions "In LA" is replaced with "Out Here On My Own".
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.
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.
Orchestra and chorus
The orchestra calls for a rock combo of 12 musicians and a chorus of five backup singers (three male and two female). The instrumentation calls for two keyboards, two guitars, electric bass, drums, percussion, violin, a woodwind player, two trumpet/flugelhorn players and trombone. Either keyboard part can by played by the conductor. The woodwind player doubles on flute, clarinet, soprano, alto and tenor saxophone. One guitar player plays lead while the other plays rhythm.
Productions around the world
The musical has had productions in nearly 25 countries, such as Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Japan, Korea, Norway, Switzerland, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Finland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
The musical opened on May 4, 2007, for a summer production at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's West End. 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.
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. 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.
On April 4, 2008, Fame opened in Paris at the Teatre Comedia.
In December 2008 The Nederlander Co with the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing presented the first FAME The Musical Production in Mandarin. Subsequently, a documentary, The Road to FAME, was filmed by Hao Wu following the students' preparation of the musical and how it affects the students' lives. It was presented in 2013 at the IFC Center in NYC.
A new UK touring production started in January 2009.
The Australian Revival Tour in Australia opened in Melbourne in April 2010, then traveled to Sydney and Brisbane. The show was choreographed by "So You Think You Can Dance"’s Kelley Abbey.
The show toured Italy and Sicily for 2009–10. This version included 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. 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 14 November 2010.
The show had a brief run at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London, between 18 and 20 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 the 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.
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.
Fame O Musical (in Portuguese) opened in São Paulo, Brazil, May 21, 2012, 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.
FAME in the Greek Language opened in Athens at the Theatron on 12/17/12.
Fame-The Musical returned to the UK as the 25th Anniversary Tour directed and choreographed by Gary Lloyd opening February 20 in London at the New Wimbledon Theatre. It then traveled to Wolverhampton, Sunderland, York, Aylesbury, Sheffield, Leicester continuing on tour till Nov 2014.
FAME performed a sold-out run at the Bridewell Theatre in London between March 28 and April 1, 2017. This production by CentreStage London starred Glen Jordan as 'Nick Piazza', Laura Ellis as 'Serena Katz', Yvette Shiel as 'Carmen Diaz', Charlie Houseago as 'Schlomo Metzenbaum', Chris Cahill as 'Joe Vegas', Nicole Seymour as 'Mabel Washington', Dean James as 'Tyrone Jackson', Sam Miller as 'Iris Kelly', Jon Haines as 'Goody', Emma Newman as 'Lambchops', Trish Butterfield as 'Miss Sherman', Claire Linney as 'Miss Bell', James Newall as 'Mr Myers' and Stewart McGhee as 'Mr Sheinkopf'. This production was directed by Stuart James, musical directed by Hayden Taylor and choreographed by Paul Brookland Willams and Samantha Herriot.
The 30th Anniversary Tour of FAME The Musical Opened in Manchester UK on July 20, 2018 produced by SellADoor Productions.
- 1993: Fame The Musical: Swedish Cast Recording
- 1993: Fama El Musical: Original Hispanoamericano Recording
- 1995: Fame The Musical: Original London Cast Recording
- 1997: Fame Das Tanzmusical: European Touring Cast Recording
- 1997: Fame The Musical: Polish Cast Recording
- 1999: Fame The Musical: Original American Cast Recording
- 2000: Songs from Fame The Musical: Australian Touring Cast Recording
- 2000: Fame De Musical: Original Dutch Cast Recording
- 2001: Fame A Musical: Original Hungarian Cast Recording
- 2003: Fame on 42nd Street: Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording
- 2004: Fama El Musical: Original Barcelona Cast Recording
- 2004: Fame: Icelandic Cast Recording
- 2005: Fame - O Musical: Original Portuguese Cast Recording
- 2006: Fama El Musical: Original Madrid Cast Recording
- 2007: Fame A Musical: Remake of the Hungarian Fame not with the original cast
- 2008: De Nederlandse Fame: Dutch Revival Cast Recording
- 2011: Fame The Musical: Original Thai Cast Recording
- 2011: Fame The Musical: Original Korean Cast Recording
- 2012: Fame O Musical: Original Brazilian Cast Recording
Information taken from CastAlbums.org
- Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical
- Laurence Olivier Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical (John Jacob as "Schlomo")
- Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Choreographer (Lars Bettke)
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