Fame is a musical telling the stories of multiple high school students at a performing arts high school in New York City. The story begins with the students anxiously awaiting for their acceptance letters to PA, the high school’s name. The show ends with the characters’ graduation from the school.
I really liked the set design. It was simple, but worked well for the high school setting. The staircases could be moved to wherever necessary for the scene, which I felt was very clever. The lockers also doubled as classroom walls. I think that the set designer really made the most of the set pieces. This was such a nice job also considering the fact the set designer and carpenter had only just met for this show. The set pieces were also all built in the Stanley which is really interesting.
The costumes were really lovely. Each costume fit with each individual character; they were believable considering who was wearing them. The costumes were all also visually striking and stood out against the other costumes.
The musical itself, I have to be honest, I didn’t enjoy so much. The show lacked depth. There were so many characters with different plot lines that didn’t go together very well to create an overall theme. I felt that events were just happening to happen. There were also romantic plot lines that suffered from lack of development. Two characters, all heterosexual, shared the same scene and all of a sudden they were in love. The story was generally just cliché. It also relied too heavily on stereotypes for each of the characters, such as the fat girl who just loves to eat 24/7.
There were multiple moments that would have been absolutely wonderful if it didn’t feel like they were coming out of no where; and the themes that were brought up, weren’t elaborated on later in the play. Such as Schlomo’s feelings of resentment toward his father. That’d be an interesting story, were it developed. There were also instances where songs didn’t make sense. Like when Miss Sherman sings about how much she loves her students right after smacking one of them in the face.
I did enjoy the music however, and the cast were very strong singers. The choreography was amazing, and the cast were excellent dancers. I loved the dancing, it was really the highlight of the show for me. The acting was pretty good as well, the comedic scenes were just spot on. The actors did what the could with what they were given and that was just great. Generally the dramatic scenes fell flat, but the one towards the end just blew me away.
I had so much fun tonight. I really appreciate this opportunity to see the musicals of the 2016-2017 season. I’m so happy to be able to watch what I love. A big thank you to Broadway Utica and the Bank of Utica for making this possible. This is really such a great program.