Monday, December 5, 2016

'FAME the Musical' needed more than one night in JAX

“FAME! I'm gonna live forever; I'm gonna learn how to fly; I'm gonna make it to heaven; Baby, remember my name!”  It’s the tune that was made famous by Irene Cara, and was the lead-in to the TV show “FAME”.  The live show came to Jacksonville, Florida and brought a troupe of talented actors/dancers, as they reenact the original show.

FAME the Musical” tells the story in the lives of several students who attend the High School of Performing Arts.  Among them are talented actors and dancers: fame-obsessed Carmen (Carmen Diaz); ambitious actress Serena (Marie Eife); wisecracking comedian/bad boy Joe [Jose] Vegas, (Eric Brandon Mota); quiet violinist Schlomo Metzenbum, (Joe Conceison); "talented but dyslexic" dancer Tyrone Jackson (J’royce Jata; determined actor Nick Piazza (Hunter Brown); overweight dancer Mabel Washington (Gillian Hassert); and poor dancer Iris Kelly (Kelly Longhran).

Gillian Hassert, Cast and Kris Roberts
Some of the outstanding musical numbers during the performance were: “There She Goes/Fame” sung by Carmen and the Students; “Hard Work” by The Students; “Mabel’s Prayer” by Mabel & the Girls; “In L.A.” rendered by Carmen, who gave a gut-wrenching dramatization of a junkie; and “Bring On Tomorrow” from the entire Company.

There was a wonderful five-piece band hidden in the background, that was a treat on their own accord.  Kudos to: conductor/keyboardist, Kelly Thomas; drums/percussionist, Brett Beiersdorfer; guitarist, Ray Sabatello; bass player, Ross Kratter and Trumpetist, Anthony Sisson.  Their sound was full, crisp and very entertaining.

The choreography from directress Antoinette De Pietropolo was fabulous and the high-kicks, jumps, twirls, splits and hip-hop antics gave the crowd their money’s worth plus more.  If you get the chance you might want to your holiday tickets today.  Check Here to see where and when the cast will be in an area near you.

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