Big hair, leg warmers and Madonna-esque style will take you back to the glory days of the 1980s in this high energy extravaganza, “Fame,” performed by Whitewater High School Oct. 21, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.
Set at the old New York High School of Performing Arts (PA), “Fame” follows the last class to grace its halls from freshman year through graduation.
“ ‘Fame’ is a terrific ensemble-type production that spotlights the talents of Whitewater’s students,” said Susan Simich, Whitewater High School drama teacher and “Fame” director. “Like the students of PA, Whitewater has terrific dancers and singers. In fact, the whole cast dances and sings in several big production numbers and I think everyone will be surprised at how good they are.”
“This is not the same story as “Fame,” the movie, or even the television series,” Simich continued. “It has the same flavor, but it has its own plot and except for the title song, its own music.”
“Fame” leads us through the stories of several standout students. Nick Piazza, played by Will Van Meter, a child actor with a pushy stage mother, works to overcome his past. Actor Serena Katz, played by Ginny Nicholson, enters as a shy freshman and ultimately figures out how to channel her raw emotions in the musical number “Think of Meryl Streep.”
Actor Joe Vegas, played by Kayal Khanna, going through normal teenage angst is fascinated by the exotic dancer, Carmen Diaz played by Taylor Martinez. Carmen leads the class in the familiar high energy title song, “Fame,” several times throughout the production. Carmen keeps the class in an uproar with her bad-girl antics.
Classical dancer Iris Kelly, played by Chandler Clark, teases class clown and fellow dancer Tyler Jackson, played by Tyler Walls, for his lack of training. Tyler, failing his academic classes, nearly gets kicked out of the arts school.
Leading this hotbed of teenage hormones and drama are the teachers of the school played by Teria Litman, Bria Cheney, Jessie Nestor, Ashley Allen, Brady Stonica and Jevan Hutson.
Rounding out the cast are Sarah Sisson as Mabel Washington, Matt Gillette as Schlomo Metzenbaum, Lane Colyer as Grace “Lamchops” Lamb, Parker Armagost as Goody King and an ensemble of almost 50 students.
“This stellar cast will be joined by a full band,” said Clayton Duggan, Whitewater High School choral director and “Fame” music director. “It’s fairly challenging music because of its rock nature which is difficult to sing well, but the students have it mastered. The other challenge is singing through the many vigorous dances. It is a great marriage of song and dance.”
Tickets may be bought at the school or at the door and are $10 each.