The Performing Arts Department announced this year’s musical back in February 2022.
Auditions took place and the cast and crew were set and ready for ‘hard work’ in rehearsal the get FAME The Musical to the stage in April.
It was truly a delight to open the school doors and welcome parents and students to a live event in the school theatre in April to 3 sold-out shows of FAME the musical, showcasing the exceptional talent of our students.
Those of us, of a certain era, will remember the movie, FAME! A stage musical based on the 1980 film, Fame and its subsequent television series.
At New York City’s legendary High School for Performing Arts, Fame takes us through the highs, the lows, the romances and the ultimate triumphs of the star-struck pupils in their quest for success.
The show ran for 3 nights from April 5th to 7th in our Wilson-Wright Centre for Performing Arts.
€1,600 was raised through donations each night for the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal.
FAME – THE MUSICAL
A Review – by teacher Cara O’Donoghue
For all too long now, Covid has been the main protagonist in any setting, so to see it confined to the wings for a little while last week was a real treat. Music and drama made a welcome return to The Wilson Wright Hall for the first time in two years, presenting ‘Fame-The Musical’ over three nights.
The sounds of the orchestra warming up, the hushed whispers of the audience, the lights, the cameras, the action, the sheer enthusiasm, and energy of the cast from the start, so many of the things we take for granted but so many of the things we love, they were all back and back with gusto.
This stellar cast, so expertly chosen, delivered a performance which will live long in the memory bringing to stage an ambitious show with difficult themes. These themes too, have a contemporary resonance as this show chronicles the lives and hardships of students attending the New York City High school for the Performing Arts.
These teens are put through their paces by Ms Sherman, Ms Bell and Mr Myers, Ms Sheinkopf played by Grace Adams, Sarah Culleton and Conor Francome and Sophie Agar each portraying a maturity beyond their years in their role. The duet by Grace and Sarah showcased an exquisite vocal and acting talent. The pupils, proving their mettle, Carmen, Iris, Tyrone, Mabel from the dance school, played by Sarah Connolly, Isabella Sartini, Andrew Awani and Zara McDonald, each give us an authentic and convincing picture of the daily struggles of the would-be dancers. The gutsy performance of Sarah in the role of Carmen allowed us to witness a raw, young talent while Mabel mastered a southern drawl like no other. The pairing of Andrew and Isabella in their roles of Tyrone and Iris worked a treat as the two share their hopes and dreams form two very different perspectives.
Not to be outdone, the pupils of the Acting school, played by Emma Dunne, Kooper Sweeney and Mekhi Allen quickly establish their places in the pecking order as they struggle to make the cut and show us that it takes a lot of hard work to become a star. Serena and Nick beautifully complement each other in their performances, a wealth of talent on display. The awkward Serena, the uncertain Nick and the slightly creepy Joey all very authentic in the execution of their roles.
The Music School pupils, Schlomo, Lambchops and Goody, Charlie Culleton, Aimee Hartigan and Malachy McKenna, respectively, attempt to have us believe that they are the real artists, with their unique struggles, we too, are drawn into their world. The comic timing, the mastery of the accents, the ease on stage here, left this spectator in awe.
All these roles were ably supported by a huge cast of pupils from Forms 1-6, the enthusiasm and the energy were palpable. The smiles, the moves, the leg-warmers, the unbridled joy, made us, the audience excited and when Ms Bell encouraged us all to get up and dance to the closing music of Fame, we did it and we did it again!
Of course, what we see on stage is only possible because of what we do not see off stage. The artwork, the set construction, the lighting, the hair, the makeup, the sound and lightening, the props, front of house, the costumes, these too, involve a huge cooperative effort from the school community, a voluntary effort without which no show could take place.
To stage a show of this magnitude under normal circumstances is a test, this show had so many outside variables with which to contend. This performance drew the very best from all involved, the talent on show here was outstanding. For their unwavering enthusiasm, their drive, their expertise and their overall sense of fun, credit and indeed gratitude must go to Ms Kerrie O’Reilly, Director and Producer and Mr Ciarán Kelly, Musical Director for giving us back the joy of the live performance.