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2’s Review: “Fame The Musical”

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Fame is the international smash hit that follows the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts and it’s only fitting that the students in Florida Reps Conservatory Education program rise to the challenge of this demanding performance.

It is based on the 1980 film and television series but now ‘Fame The Musical’ is bursting onto the Florida Rep. stage in downtown Fort Myers.

It was exciting to watch the students pour their hearts and soul into such a phenomenal pop culture show.

I especially enjoyed the live tucked-away orchestra which undoubtedly was a treat for these students to work with.

The show for me drew on parallels as many of these students performing lead roles are familiar faces at Florida Rep and watching them undertake such physically and vocally challenging roles shows their passion and desire to “make it to heaven” just as the characters they portray.

Fame is about the journey facing a group of high school drama students during the years 1980-1984.

The lead role of hot-headed Carmen Diaz was played brilliantly by Hannah Cruz, who commands the stage, projects powerful tones, and delivers on every song, including the hit “Fame.”

Nick Piazza is played smoothly by actor Landon Maas who brings determination and maturity to the stage after starring in SpongeBob Musical just last year.

Gigi Lieze-Adams delivers the ambition of the character Serena Katz who is determined to become a star, and she commands the stage in some beautiful solo performances.

Other standout talents in the show go to ballerina Isa Scala who plays Iris Kelly, a talented theater student with a deep secret.

Another convincing and favorite character of mine was Ms. Sherman Danae Teblum. Playing a much older role can be challenging for a young person, but she nails it and convinces me.

Actress Ella Cameratta delivers the laughs with her zany character Mabel Washingon, a girl who loves sweets more than dance. Finally, actor Emmanuel Tojanci brings laughter and abundant energy to the performance as Jose Vegas.

Singing, dancing, and acting are what the show is all about, and it’s clear these young people have something in common with their characters. They’re aspiring actors, and it shows.

Aside from a few microphone issues, I found the show entertaining, with ambition that could light up the sky like a flame.

If you want to be inspired to follow your dreams and watch some young actors hard at work, this is a chance for you to cheer them on.

Be sure to catch the musical from May 18-21 and May 26-27 in the Historic Arcade Theatre.

Both evening and matinee show times are being offered.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students.

Call 239-332-4488 to purchase or visit online here.

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