Belfast Area High School presents: ‘Fame - The Musical’
BELFAST - Belfast Area High School will perform their Fall production Fame - The Musical for three nights at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 29, Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1.
The performances will take place at The Crosby Center, 96 Church St., Belfast.
Fame - The Musical follows the highs and lows of the final class of New York City's illustrious High School for the performing arts, from their first year to their graduation. Though the original play was set in the 1980s, this version will be set in today’s New York, according to a news release.
Fame tells the story of several of the students, depicting their struggles, triumphs and tempestuous relationships with sincerity and dramatic effect. We see their struggles with ambition, fame, and self-confidence through the eyes of students such as Carmen (Phoebe Norman), the ambitious dancer obsessed with fame; serious actor Nick (Matthew Shelton), and full-figured dancer Mabel (Hannah Marsden).
The show does not shy away from complex issues, such as prejudice, drug abuse, and sexual exploitation, as the young performers explore the realities of striving for a career in show business.
Serena Katz (Mercedez Whitmore) and Jose Vegas (Bryan Spaulding) are other actors at the school;
Jack Zakowski (Aiden Pike) and Iris Kelly (Emily Wakeman) are young dancers;
and Schlomo Metzenbaum (Paige Ford), Grace “Lampchops” Lamb (Audrey Richdale) and Goodwyn “Goody” King (Gabrielle Schachtner) have dreams of becoming famous musicians.
Miss Esther Sherman (English) – Maggie Machaiek
Ms. Greta Bell (Dance) – Michelle Wakeman
Mr. Myers (Acting) – Michael Lawson
Mr. Sheinkopf (Music) – Eric Sanders
Raven [Musician] – Makaylah Gordon
Izzy [Dancer] – Harley Wellman
Zoe [Actor] – Haley Black
Roz [Dancer] – Alice Dyer
Shai – Brooklynn Boyle
Glyde [Dancer] – Sydney Densmore
With original choreographies by Molly Gawler and Sydney Densmore, Fame - The Musical, will entertain from opening curtain to bows, according to the release.
Tickets are $10/adults, $8/students, and will be available at the door.
Statements, in the release, from Theatrical Director Judi Erickson:
Why was this play chosen?
“Fame – The Musical was an easy choice – there are multiple characters and ensemble parts which allows anyone who auditions to be included in the show. This means everyone has the opportunity to shine – the poster shows the empty spotlights – waiting for the next “stars” to step into them.
I was also a big fan of the original TV program Fame, and count Debbie Allen, the dance teacher and chief choreographer in that series as a role model and ‘heroine’.”
What was it like to put this production together?
“A musical production is always hard work – and when working with students, you have to allow them to bring their best to any given situation. It takes guts to be up on stage in front of parents, grandparents, fellow students and the general public. Coaxing out characters is always interesting!
The musical and technical directors, as well as stage management have allowed me to concentrate on the story – I am in their debt, as they bring the music and stage to life.
It is challenging and requires multi-tasking skills, but seeing the end result is the icing on the cake.”
What was it like to have the choreographers' help with this play?
“My thanks to Molly Gawler and Sydney Densmore for making them dance ! From teaching balletic choreographies to explaining how to accomplish a hip hop “pop”, I never doubted that their work with the students would be anything but world class. I am thrilled – and the audience will be too. This adds a dimension that will, with any luck, continue to be accessed in future productions.”
You’re moving this production to the Crosby Center this year, instead of presenting it at the BAHS gymnasium/auditorium -- will that be a challenge?
“We will be challenged when we move into the Crosby Center – every single last one of us. This is where it becomes “real” - where placement and blocking on stage make the story happen, where the lights and sound accentuate the good (and the bad) – where revisions happen.
But to not give these students the chance to work in this facility would make no sense. We are happy that the Crosby Center will host Fame – The Musical, and will work hard to “own” the stage.”