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Fame The Musical overcomes sound problem to produce a hit.
April 13, 2012
Tamworth Herald

YOUNGSTERS from Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre entertained packed houses with their production of Fame The Musical last week.

Remembering the 1980s TV show, I knew what to expect.

Ambitious characters trying to make the grade at the High School of Performing Arts in New York, and a production bursting with drama and dance.

And the show was packed with dance. It was clear that the young performers had worked very hard on their routines.

And there were some interesting characters. Talented dancer Carmen Diaz (Charlotte Middleton) has bags of potential and the love of pianist Schlomo Metzenbaum (Jack Moreton) but is lured away from her studies by dreams of Hollywood and falls victim to hard drugs.

Then there is Serena Katz (Amy Mallaband), an actor dealing with her unrequited love for fellow thespian Nick Piazza (Jon Barakat).

Light relief was provided by Chris Buckle as Joe Vegas, a charming Latin motormouth.

I attended on the opening night and there were problems with the sound which was a shame for the performers.

It was hard to make out some of the dialogue.

I felt the show lost some of its impetus in places but was redeemed by some excellent scenes – for example, Mabel's Prayer, a plea from an overweight dancer (played with spirit by Esme Wade) to God in the hope that the almighty will help make her thinner.

This was a real highlight as was the finale – a foot-tapping rendition of the theme from Fame complete with a New York taxi cab on stage!

Fame The Musical was a grown-up production for the youth theatre, with references to sex, drugs and race.

But it was a fun show with some great dancing and the performers all looked like they were enjoying themselves immensely.

Robert Glynn was convincing as troubled dancer Tyrone Jackson and there was strong support from Grace Lambert as dancer Iris Kelly and Laura Mallaband and Gus Wade as musicians Grace "Lambchops" Lamb and Goodman King.

The adults in the show were played by guest performers Julie Mallaband, Tim Berriman, Dawn Welch and Steve Brunton.

Congratulations to the whole Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre company for putting on this show.

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