Review

 
 
With the movie remake comes a wave of new productions of the stage version of Fame. A show based on the hit movie and television series about high school kids in the arts seems like a sure-fire success for youth theatre. Unfortunately, the stage version with book by Jose Fernandez lacks much by way of engaging drama, significant character development, or good humor. But fortunately, this group at Fallbrook Players still made it engaging and even created a moment of great emotional power, not to mention a ton of terrific dancing, to make this a show worth watching.

Understudy Audrey Fortuin starred as Carmen, based on Irene Cara’s “Coco” character in the film, and she has great vocals and demeanor for the role of the girl striving for fame at any price. It’s when she pays that price where the show’s powerful moment comes thanks to excellent staging and the reaction of Carmen’s best friend, Schlomo (the musician, based on Bruno in the movie). The remarkably talented Tim Cabal is Schlomo, and his genuine reaction is heartbreaking. He joins with Analicia in a great duet of Bring On Tomorrow, while Analicia does a nice job with the movie hits On My Own and leading the cast in an interesting country-western twangy version of the title hit Fame that might have been a nod to their Fallbrook locale.

Anzy McWha stars as Serena Katz, filling the character with a soft and gentle nature. Well, until she gets really ticked, at which point her soft, gentle voice transforms into a guttural growl that scares the pea out of peanut butter boy (a.k.a. Nick Piazza played likeably by Thomas Harker) who is trying to shed his early fame as a peanut butter commercial kid to become a more serious actor. Drew Bradford is good as cocky class clown Joe Vegas, Suzi Mellano is the graceful, beautiful ballerina Iris Kelly, and drawn to her is Tyrone Jackson – a character inspired by Leroy in the film, with Gale Abille giving a fantastic performance as a streetwise rapper and dancer. Tyrone’s Rap and Tyrone’s Stomp rock the house with brilliant singing and dancing to Director Allisan Whitman’s riveting choreography, and the band nails it, featuring Chase Kessel on drums and anything else he can keep the beat with.

A few other standouts include great vocals by Cameron Romney as Goody King, Madisen Johnson as Mabel, and Kathryn Baker as Ms. Sherman. The ensemble combines for some strong choruses, including the last big number. And surely this group is in the most athletic shape of their lives after all this intense and challenging dance routines performed always with energy, grace, and precision, and more than worthy of much fame.

Performed March 12 - 21, 2010

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~

Carmen Diaz: Audrey Fortuin
Schlomo Metzenbaum: Tim Cabal
Serena Katz: Anzy McWha
Nick Piazza: Thomas Harker
Tyrone Jackson: Gale Abille
Mabel Washington: Madisen Johnson
Joe Vegas: Drew Bradford
Goody King: Cameron Romney
Iris Kelly: Suzi Mellano
Grace (Lambchops) Lamb: Anna Sentina
Ms. Esther Sherman: Kathryn Baker
Ms. Greta Bell: Addie McKinley
Ms. Myers: Lori Heck
Mr. Sheinkopf: Richard Romney
Shady Character: Ben Kindel
Lead Guitar: Ricky Sentina
Bass: Sean Morris
Drums, Cajon: Chase Kessel
Violin: Janelle Gelvezon
Piano: Quinton Walker
Percussion: Zach Wikler

Stomp:
Gale Abille
Lauren Grant
Makena Nixon
Sydney Skidmore
Maggie Harriman
Milan Lambert-Magana
Audrey Fortuin
Abbey Davis
Madisen Johnson
Jalie Fransway
Cassie Waddington
Emily Majewski
Chase Kessel
Alyssa De La Rosa
Emil Lundqvist
Blaise Wopperer
Anna Sentina
Marshall Briggs
Cameron Romney
Anzy McWha
Zach Wikler
Quinton Walker
Kamaran McClanahan

Ballet:
Audrey Fortuin
Jalie Fransway
Cassie Waddington
Anzy McWha
Maxie Mertens
Analicia Hawkins
Madisen Johnson
Gale Abille
Maggie Harriman
Makena Nixon
Kendall Larson
Lauren Grant
Tessa Fieri
Suzi Mellano
Emma Keck

Jazz:
Blaise Wopperer
Sarah Girgis
Emily Majewski
Marysa Robinson
Sydney Skidmore
Abby Davis
Maxie Mertens
Milan Lambert-Magana
Tessa Fieri
Lauren Grant
Analicia Hawkins
Maggie Harriman

Student Ensemble:
Emma Boyd
Marshall Briggs
Abby Davis
Alyssa DeLaRosa
Jessica Donnell
Michael Donnell
Hilary Erbland
Tessa Fieri
Alexandra Flynn
Robi Foli
Audrey Fortuin
Jalie Fransway
Janelle Gelvezon
Sarah Girgis
Montana Goldsmith
Lauren Grant
Maggie Harriman
Jessica Jameson
Emma Keck
Chase Kessel
Benjamin Kindel
Milan Lambert-Magana
Makenna Lang
Kendall Larson
Emily Lundqvist
Sharon Lucas
Emily Majewski
Kamaran McClanahan
Maxie Merteens
Sean Morris
McKenna Nixon
Trista Pietrucioli
Marysa Robinson
Raquelle Rogers
Ricky Sentina
Sydney Skidmore
Cassie Waddington
Quinton Walker
Sarah Wikler
Zach Wikler
Blaise Wopperer

Director & Choreographer: Allisan Whitman
Musical Director: Leigh Sutherlin
Producer: Jane Stimmel
Costumers: Allisan Whitman, Susan Korean
Set Design: Chris Batchelor
Props: Maggie Skidmore
Light Design: Chris Batchelor
Sound Designer: Jane Stimmel
Stage Manager: Emily Sperling
Assistant Stage Manager: Maddix McWha
Back Stage Crew: Aeli McClellan
Spotlight: Marissa Sagey, Maddix McWha
Biographies: Leslie Crawford
Box Office: Janet Davis
Chaperone Coordinator: Terry Davis
Concessions Coordinator: Kristin Lundqvist
House Manager: Terry Davis
Programs: Leslie Crawford
Raffle Coordinator: Maggie Skidmore
Souvenir Coordinator: Janet Davis
Photos: Becky Gemmell
Video: PM ProductionZ HD Video Production

   

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