Westering High School revives Fame
Bob Eveleigh: Westering High School in Port Elizabeth is staging a new production of the stage version of the movie hit, Fame, under the title Fame: The Musical.
It will run at the PA Blackbeard Hall at the school from Wednesday, August 1, to Saturday, August 4, at 7pm each evening.
It’s a year of revivals for Port Elizabeth, with adult society revivals of Evita and Fiela’s Child, and now Fame. The show was originally presented by Westering High at the same venue in 1998 but the decision to re-do it was based on the popularity of the recent movie remake.
The first film in 1980 led to a successful TV series that ran on US TV from 1982 to 1987 and made a star out of dancer/ choreographer Debbie Allen, just as the original had springboarded vocalist Irene Cara to stage, screen, recording and concert prominence.
The original film, dealt with acting, dance and music students at New York City’s High School of the Performing Arts.
As far as this Westering High revival is concerned, as adapted by the production team, the action has been changed from the 1998 staging to take place at the “Cape Town School of Performing Arts”, with slight script adjustments to give the musical a more South African feel.
Apart from the title song, Fame, however, the stage version, which was conceived by David De Silva, who had executive produced the original movie, dispenses with the main score, replacing it with many new songs with music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy plus a much re-written script by Jose Fernandez.
Strangely enough, despite the many professional revivals it has received in London’s West End, Fame: The Musical has never played Broadway. Conceived in 1982, it premiered in Miami, Florida, as Fame on 42nd Street, before becoming a favourite, under the current title, of schools and community theatre companies in 25 countries around the world.
The same creative team behind the school’s 2008 Showtime Award-winning production, Mzansi, and Disco Rocks in 2010, is responsible for this presentation.
Jointly directing the production are Anton Steyn and René Myburg, with Salomie Minnie and Amanda Engelbrecht working together as a musical direction team.
Choreography is by Jerry Fortuin, whose most recent work was on display in the Pemads revue, Timeless, in April and who was inducted into the Showtime Hall of Fame in February in recognition of his many, many years of service as performer, teacher and choreographer, to the performing arts – and dance, in particular – in Port Elizabeth.
The performances of Fame: The Musical on Wednesday and Thursday, August 1 and 2, will be done with theatre style seating, while, on Friday and Saturday, August 3 and 4, there will cabaret seating, with patrons seated at tables and welcome to bring their own snacks and drinks hampers with them to enjoy before the show and at interval.
For further show and booking information, call the school office on 041 360 7805.
Article source: http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=30662