Broadway
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Fame is a stage musical based on the 1980 musical film of the same name. It has been staged under two titles; The first, Fame – The Musicalconceived and developed by David De Silva, is a musical with a book by José Fernandez, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy. The musical premiered in 1988 in Miami, Florida. The second was as Fame on 42nd Street, where it was performed Off-Broadway at the Little Shubert Theatre on 42nd Street from 2003 to 2004.


Plot[]

Act I

A group of vibrant, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, energetic young people gather to audition to study at New York City's High School of Performing Arts. Miss Sherman, the homeroom teacher, warns the freshman class that it takes a lot more than dreams to succeed at "P.A." The students acknowledge that it takes ("Hard Work"). Before Algebra class, Serena meets Nick Piazza, he explains his passion for the performing arts and tells her he wants his acting to move people emotionally ("I Want to Make Magic"). Mr. Myers, the drama teacher, asks them to think about how a physical sensation can trigger an emotional response. Joe discusses the physical reactions that happen whenever he thinks of a beautiful girl (Carmen) in dance class ("Can't Keep it Down" or the alternative lyrics, "Can't Keep It Cool"). Meanwhile, in dance class Tyrone can't get to grips with Ballet and states that he can do better, resulting in the whole class doing a hip hop dance. This makes Miss Bell see Tyrone's potential as a choreographer, so she partners him with Iris, a ballerina. Iris mocks Tyrone's lack of classical dance experience. Enraged at her comments, he begins a rap expressing his anger ("Tyrone's Rap"). Iris apologizes and confesses that she is not really rich, but scared and they share a kiss.

At lunch, Carmen, a self-assured, cocky Latina spitfire, asks Mr. Myers if she can skip class on Friday to audition for West Side Story. He tells her that it would just be another role for her to hide behind. Carmen, enraged, dreams of seeing her name in lights and people gasping as she walks down the street ("There She Goes/Fame!"). The other students join in her fantasy and begin an exciting, electrifying dance.

Serena and Nick are rehearsing another scene and Serena confesses that she wants to try something romantic and passionate. Serena is in love with Nick, but Nick is mainly focused on acting. Serena laments her unrequited love ("Let's Play a Love Scene"). Afterwards, Carmen interrupts Schlomo while he practices his violin, giving him lyrics that she wrote for the melody he always plays. Schlomo tries them out, and changes some of the lyrics with Carmen ("Bring on Tomorrow"), which results in Carmen joining the band. Carmen kisses Schlomo and leaves. Goody (also in the band, along with Lambchops) makes fun of Schlomo afterwards. In the hallway, Miss Sherman talks to Tyrone about his care-free attitude towards education. She threatens to keep him out of the Fall Festival if his grades don't improve. Miss Bell overhears and argues that Tyrone's artistic endeavors are more important than his academic performance ("The Teachers' Argument"). Tyrone storms off, threatening to drop out of school, and Miss Sherman reminds the gathered crowd of students of their academic commitments ("Hard Work (Reprise)").

Act II

The students begin their junior year with the P.A. Fall Festival ("The Junior Festival").

Nick congratulates Serena for getting the lead female role of Juliet in their junior show, Romeo and Juliet. Serena gets excited and assumes that Nick got the role of Romeo. However, she is surprised to learn that Joe Vegas has the role of Romeo and Nick got the part of Mercutio. Lambchops suggests that Nick is gay, and when Serena confronts him about it, Nick angrily replies that he is straight. Serena is so angry she decides to channel it into her acting ("Think of Meryl Streep"). Later, at a dance rehearsal, Mabel, an overweight dancer, complains about retaining water, and other problems she faces with the size of her body. She confesses that, although she tries many weight-loss schemes and diets, she always goes back to the "Seafood Diet: I see food, and then I eat it!" She prays aloud for God's help in keeping her from becoming "the world's fattest dancer" ("Mabel's Prayer"), eventually having an epiphany and deciding to switch her major to acting. Carmen tells Schlomo of her plan to leave school and go to Los Angeles. She has met a Hollywood agent named Elliot Greene, who is sending her a plane ticket. Schlomo begs her not to go. He had seen her getting into Elliot's limousine and accuses her of using cocaine with him. Schlomo tells Carmen he loves her, but is left alone with his violin/flute/keyboard (depending on what the actor can actually play).

In English class, Tyrone is reading a Superman comic book. Miss Sherman catches him, and forces him to stand up in front of the class and read from the comic book. He accuses her of trying to make him look stupid. He then accuses her of racism. Miss Sherman slaps him in the face and, shocked by what she has done, runs off. Tyrone says to his classmates he doesn't need her help, or the ability to read or write - he is a dancer, and that's all he needs (“Dancin’ on the Sidewalk.”). Miss Sherman returns and apologises for her outburst. She reveals that she believes Tyrone may have dyslexia and offers him extra help, to which Tyrone refuses and storms off. Miss Sherman pleads after him not to give up on her (“These Are My Children”).

The students rehearse Romeo and Juliet. Joe, insecure playing Romeo, has been ad-libbing. Joe starts to make fun of what he is saying, although is scared he'll mess up. Serena pleads with him to be serious in the part. Nick offers to show him how to play Romeo and winds up kissing Serena in their first romantic moment. Tyrone asks Iris why she has been avoiding him all year. She says she doesn't want to be tied to a loser. To show her that he is serious, he tells her he is repeating his senior year and reads a passage of Leaves of Grass to her. They dance a pas de deux and walk off together, hand in hand.

Carmen is standing in front of the school looking physically wasted and disoriented. She spots Schlomo and tells him the truth about her experiences in Hollywood ("In L.A."). Carmen promises him that she will quit the drugs and get her GED. He gives her a couple of dollars and sadly departs, reminding Carmen that he will always love her.

At the farewell party, everyone is dressed up and the celebration is loud and festive. Nick confesses his feelings to Serena and they decided to try to date although they are heading to different colleges ("Let's Play a Love Scene (Reprise)"). Schlomo reveals through monologue that Carmen has died of a drug overdose, and dedicates the classes' final senior song to her memory ("Bring On Tomorrow (Reprise)").

After the bows, Carmen comes back dancing on the roof of a taxi cab and sings "Fame" for the Finale.

Trivia[]


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