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Posted May 17, 2005

School Zone: 'Fame' allows many students to shine
If you go:
What: "Fame"
Who: Bay Port High School
When: 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Performing arts center, 2710 Lineville > Road, Suamico
Tickets: $5; check availability; Friday sold out; (920)662-7246

Musical adjusted for high schoolers
By Warren Gerds

SUAMICO - Bay Port High School students will turn back the clock to the early 1980s in a performing arts high school when they present the musical "Fame."

About 85 students are involved as cast, crew, student directors, costumers and in the pit band.

The show was considered a few years ago but not produced, said director Terry Martin.

In part, it was because of diversity needs and in part "because it needed to be toned down just a bit for it to fit in a high school production," Martin said. "Because directors around the country were calling and requesting similar things, the writers and Music Theatre International have made many of the requested adjustments."

Bay Port is using an adaptation that was used in Italy.
The character Tyrone Jackson from the original production is replaced by Yahuda  (Jack) Zakowski, a Russian immigrant from Leningrad.

For one special touch, "We are having a short pre-show skit to explain the rules for the audience, while making it look like auditions for 'the Fame school,'" Martin said.

For another, one of the dance numbers - "Dancing on the Sidewalk" - includes a Stomp-like segment with garbage can covers.

The cast: Nick, David Vandenlangenberg; Miss Sherman, Ali Arzeni; Serena, Stephanie Dorman; Miss Bell, Anne Killian; Joe, Kody Henke; Jack, Jeff Blum; Carmen, Lindsey Katsetos; Mabel, Amanda Mullins; Mr. Myers, Andy Vanden Busch; Iris, Maria Blohoweak; Mr. Scheinkopf, Shawn Allen; Lambchops, Megan Tenpas; Goody, Derek Lynch; and Schlomo, Chris Murphy.

Also performing are Hahn Cho, Ben Gerondale, Brad Kemp, Ryan Simmons, Dan Lowry, Ian Hornburg, Shawn Kaczrowski, Kevin Deprez, Justin Wangerin, Matt Hying, Erica Kassner, Kaitlin Berggren, Megan Kozelek, Olivia Koch, Krysta Quigley, Sydney Hancock, Liz Clark, Lauren Schliesleder, Kense Olson, Katie Dictus, Megan Cavil, Samantha Hancock, Kat Youngell, Megan Dickman, Jessica Hauner, Alysha Black, Anna Conard and Molly Geishirt, with Taylor Ayotte, a first grader, performing as the young ballerina.

Student directors are Kate Lowry, Matt Ely, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Kelly Giese, Frank Kashdan, Kaisa McCambridge (dance), Jenny Hendricks (dance), Krystal Kohler, Jenn Covi, Hannah Van Dreel and Danielle Strenski.

Dave Pufall is musical director, with Chris Gabryszek as technical director; Jaynie Timm, costume designer and Katie Martin, choreographer.

"Our first priority in choosing a show any year is that it gives as many people a chance to shine as possible," Martin said. " This show does that.

"It also has some very good messages about students who become rebellious because of disabilities and that the impatience we see in some young people can be quite destructive.

"Also, because the setting is in a high school, the students identify with the messages of the production."

Explored are such issues as identity, self-worth, literacy, substance abuse and perseverance, while the students strive to make it as performers.

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