★★★ | Fame – National Tour
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 show follows a small group of students from the first meeting to graduation, looking at the challenges they face in their academic studies, their artistic studies and their personal lives. Issues such as drug use, unrequited love and illiteracy are all canvassed as the friends make their way through their time at school.
Despite its 1980’s setting, the show looked and sounded bang up to date. The variety of musical styles and the vocal gymnastics reflected the modern style and the dance routines covered a wide variety of styles, from hip-hop and street dancing to classical ballet and even a flamenco-inspired number.
The show boasts around 20 songs which flow in rapid succession giving the show more of a feel of a musical revue than a piece of musical theatre. The opening number “Pray I Make/Hard Work” set the tone of the show nicely and was modern and contemporary. “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 song was saved for the finale, with “Bring on Tomorrow” being a traditional rousing conclusion to the proceedings which was well performed by the ensemble.
Fame is currently on National Tour.
In between visits to the theatre, watching films, photography, walking, scuba diving and singing (badly); Paul writes for TheGayUK.