Story & review by Paul Nelson
FAME The Musical will soon enter into its third year in the West End.
Since its launch in 1995 this sensational show has delighted more than 2.5 million people either in the capital or at venues across the UK. The production has also enjoyed huge success across the globe, with audiences in North America, Australia, Asia and Europe all falling under the spell of the talented hopefuls at New York's High School of Performing Arts.
Currently running at the Cambridge Theatre, Fame The Musical will transfer to the Aldwych in September to continue the run of the UK's popular and successful musical theatre production. Based on the Academy Award winning motion picture, Fame The Musical brings to life the glamour and sweat that is life at the legendary Manhattan school.
Set over a four year course, Fame The Musical takes audiences through the highs and lows, the friendships and romances, and the sheer hard work that is daily life for the stage struck pupils in their quest for success. For some it is too much but ultimately tragedy and triumph combine in a spectacular finale which has prompted standing ovations around the world.
Launched in the West End seven years ago and nominated for two Olivier Awards, Fame The Musical's continued world-wide success is inspiring new generations to don leg-warmers and leotards, dance on taxis and live forever. Recruiting the latest, freshest talent, the cast of over 30 electric performers have wowed critics and crowds alike as they rocket through their phenomenal dance routines and unforgettable songs, including the by now legendary "Fame".
Over 8,000 people have auditioned to perform in the UK production over the last seven years, and since 1995 over 3,000 pairs of leg-warmers, 2,000 pairs of jazz shoes, 800 sweat bands and three bright yellow New York cabs have been used in the ongoing triumph that is Fame The Musical!
The Academy Award winning MGM/United Artists motion picture Fame, was released in 1980 and was an immediate box office smash around the world. This was followed by a highly successful TV show that ran for six seasons, being seen in 68 countries and winning numerous Emmy awards.
The original High School for Performing Arts boasts a strong list of graduates, including Jennifer Aniston, Liza Minelli, Al Pacino, Suzanne Vega, Ben Vereen, Diahann Carroll, Eartha Kitt, Shari Lewis and Jerome Robbins. Its success made it a model for a number of schools including the Brit School in Croydon and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, founded by Sir Paul McCartney.
As well as delighting audiences in London, Fame The Musical is also enjoying its most successful tour ever as it visits towns and cities across the UK on its 2002/3 tour.
Fame The Musical, Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, London WC2. 020 7494
5080 (Booking until August 2002). Aldwych Theatre 0870 4000 805 (Booking from
RELATED LINKS: Click here for the official US Fame The Musical website...