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Home > Past Buzz > Fame Opens at Litchfield High School

By: Emily M. Olson 10/27/2006

The musical "Fame!" which was a hit movie in the 1970s, a well-known television series in the 1980s and a Broadway show in the 1990s, is returning to the stage again tonight-with the Litchfield High School Players taking on the roles of young men and women dreaming of stardom.

The roles and characters have been tweaked to fit contemporary dreams of hitting it big, but the spirit of the musical remains the same. During a rehearsal at Litchfield Intermediate School Tuesday night, students, parents and faculty members were gathered in the tiny auditorium, which is being transformed into a dance and music school for teens much like the one in the film, which made its home in New York City.
"It's based on characters in the movie, but we've used the 1990s play so there will be some changes, for people who have seen it before," said director and faculty member Conrad Sienkiewicz. "And the music is different too."
Mr. Sienkiewicz said he and musical director James Tornatore chose to do "Fame!" partly due to its simple set design, but also because it is a play that has never been performed before in Litchfield.
The pit band will be composed almost entirely of students this year, and several of the musicians will be on stage in the Fame band room-so they will be musicians as well as actors, Mr. Sienkiewicz explained.
As the director got his cast ready for rehearsal, crew members scurried to and fro, stepping around scaffolding and piles of furniture that is the result of the ongoing construction project at the intermediate school. It might have appeared daunting to deal with a messy building and rehearse for a play at the same time, but the enthusiasm in the auditorium was obvious.
Young men and women in dance costumes-leg warmers, tights and t-shirts, were seen flitting about in the hallways and on the stage.
And when the cast was asked to gather for a group photograph before rehearsing their curtain calls for the finale, they happily obliged, waving "jazz hands" and striking dancer's poses on the stage.
Some of the principal members of the cast include Caroline Smith, a senior, as "Lambchops," who is an aspiring drummer; junior Bryan Waugh as "Schlomo," a shy violinist whose character is a remake of the original cast's "Bruno"; junior Colin Reinhardt as "Zack Zackowski"-who might be remembered as "Leon" from the original cast; and senior Mark Donne as Mr. Myers, a teacher at the school.
Other cast members include Erica Beauregard, Laura Coffil, Hillary Carlson and Dominique Rivers; Rachel Beauregard, Mariel Brandt, Caitlin Fischer, Kaci Belancik, Dom Crowder and Louise Hell; Liza Noone, Carter Brown, Rachel Clarkin-Breslin, Bridget Creedon, Molly Rindos and Courtney Shaw; Margaux Bratina, Kathleen McKenna, Mickey Motta, Marcus Doyle, Rory McKenna, Kelsey Ocain and Sasha Stedronsky.
Joining Mr. Sienkiewicz and Mr. Tornatore in production are Bette Wu as producer; Matt Szydio as technical director; Susan Aziz as costume consultant; Peggy Terhune as choreographer; Lisa Waugh as property consultant and Alexa Golden as property mistress; stage managers Ashley Tinley and Destinee Meeker; publicity consultant Carol Dake; set painting consultants Barbara Salinger and Al Coffill; box office and ticket sales managers Beth Steinberg and Aprille Knox; lighting crew members Kay Jones, Amanda Jankowski, Mikaela Scozzafava and Marcy Grambo; soundman Sam Macchiaroli; and hair and makeup consultant Judy Tringali.
Behind the scenes, the stage crew members include Erin Marquis, Mikaela Scozzafava, Claire Aziz, Sarah Jeanfavre, Destinee Meeker, Jenna Rodger, Ashley Tingley, Alexa Golden, Rob Harpin, Colby Costa, Alex Hula, Dillon Sparks, Catrina Meany, Melissa Fabbri, Andrea Irwin, Sara Leavitt and Mollie Belancik. Numerous other students and parents assisted with set design and construction, lighting, costumes and more, making the production of "Fame!" an all-school musical.
The cast members said they were ready for opening night.
"My character's all about the music," Caroline explained. "It's a bigger role that I did last year and it's more fun."
"All Zack wants to do is dance-he's a functioning illiterate," Colin added as he explained his own character.
"I'm the son of a virtuoso who's really shy," added Bryan. And Mark noted that his part as a teacher delves into the psyches of the students at the music and theater school.
"I'm all into the emotions," he said. "I try to open the students up to play their characters."
The students encouraged their friends and neighbors to come to the play and support the cast and crew.
"Come and see us try and sing," said Caroline with a giggle.
"Support us-it's going to be a great show," Colin added.
"See what we have to deal with," Bryan said. "See what we can do-come and support the Litchfield High School Players."
"Fame" will open tonight, Oct. 27 and continue Saturday, Oct. 28; Friday, Nov. 3, and Saturday Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee performance Sunday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at the Litchfield Intermediate School auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. For more information, call 860-567-7530.

© The Litchfield Enquirer 2006


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