It is easy to see why Fame is returning to theatres for a 30th-anniversary tour. The musical is a celebration of youthful hopes and dreams that can still get people dancing in the aisles.
For those not familiar with the premise, like the film, it follows a cohort of hopeful dancers, actors and musicians as they progress through performing arts school in 1980s New York City. However, the plot has been completely rewritten and the songs are different. But don’t worry the same trials, tribulations and joys of being a young person in New York City remain.
The setting lends itself to the fantastically choreographed singing and dance numbers. While the story is largely innocent and happy, the emotional story arcs for two of the characters hit home with the audience and ground the entire story in the world beyond the school walls.
The stage design was interesting and worked well with the story; it conveyed to the audience where the scene was taking place simply and without distracting from the performance. Eventually, the set design makes the poignant penultimate scene even more emotional. Though I did feel it was a shame that the iconic taxi did not make an appearance during the song ‘Fame’.
The entire cast performed well as an ensemble and the ten main characters were all developed over the course of the story. The standout performances came from Stephanie Rojas’s ‘Carmen’, Jamal Kane Crawford’s ‘Tyrone’ and particularly Mica Paris’s ‘Miss Sharman’, who brings the entire theatre to their feet for the final performance of the iconic song.
Overall this is a fun night out, with some impressive dance numbers, a simple but solid plot line and joyous performances of iconic songs.