In conjunction with The Institute of Technical Education (ITE)’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations of Educational Excellence (1992-2012), they have put together their largest musical production: FAME – The Musical as their finale event.
FAME is a huge global phenomenon spanning two hit motion pictures, a television series and international stage success. Staged by students from ITE’s Centre for Music & The Arts (CeMTA), this high-energy, pop culture infused production is set in the early 1980s, during the last years of New York’s celebrated High School for the Performing Arts. With honesty, humour and startling insight, the musical explores the issues faced by many young people today; issues of identity, self-worth, prejudice, literacy and perseverance.
Title song “Fame” written by DEAN PITCHFORD and MICHAEL GORE
Directed by TONY QUEK
Starring ITE’s Finest Art Talents from CENTRE FOR MUSIC AND THE ARTS (CeMTA)
Based on a Conception of DAVID DE SILVA
Book by: JOSÉ FERNANDEZ
Music by: STEVE MARGOSHES
Lyrics by: JACQUES LEVY
With that being said, I was very excited to be invited to the Gala Night of FAME – The Musical on the 22th of March 2013 at the illuminITE auditorium over at the new ITE Ang Mo Kio Campus. In attendance on that day were their corporate guests,senior management, arts industry partners and even our VIP Deputy Prime Minister and Ex president Mr Nathan!
Initially the bf was to be my partner to watch the musical, but he fell sick so I had to call my backup – the bestie, Crystal really last minute, like a couple of hours before the show! Super thankful that she actually shifted her prior appointment just to accommodate me, so THANK YOU SO MUCH!(:
Both of us rushed down from work on that Friday night amidst the crazy sardine packed MRT trains and slow buses (waited 20 minutes for the bus!) to the new ITE campus over at Ang Mo Kio but we were unfortunately abit late. Thankfully, we weren’t denied entry, but sadly, we missed out on the first few scenes of Act 1.
Moving on, I do have some knowledge of the story of FAME as it is a pretty well known musical and I’ve watched the movie. In my opinion, I feel that the ITE production of FAME follows relatively closely to the original script but with a couple of tweaks of their own.
One of the main tweaks that I first noticed will be the characters/genders namely:
- Miss Sherman (Originally Female) – Changed to Mr Herman (ITE production)
- Mabel Washington (Originally Female) – Male Marc Washington (ITE production)
- Grace ‘Lambchops’ Lamb (Originally Female) – Male Lamb chops (ITE production)
And of course, as a musical you can expect loads of singing, acting and dancing in all the scenes right? So yes, there was and I would say that for this musical, most of the cast can really sing, act and dance very well (despite some being newbies in a musical production while some are veterans) which is a difficult feat to achieve.
Also, there are a couple of standout scenes/actors that I remember vividly because Crystal and I were really impressed with either/both their vocal and acting abilities and nope, not being bias here!
- The actress playing Carmen Diaz (Atiqah Haron) is an excellent choice. Crystal and I were very impressed with both her acting and vocal abilities and the most memorable scene for me featuring her will be the part where she sings “There She Goes/Fame”. But in general, she is a really good and strong singer – possibly the best female singer in the cast?
- The actress playing Serena Katz (Skading Lisamarie Roseanne) is also another favourite in the running for her acting and vocal abilities. To me, the best scene was when she was singing ‘Let’s Play a Love Scene’ where she laments her unrequited love with Nick. It was able to stir my emotions and was believable.
- The actor playing Marc Washington (Mohamed Amirul B Jamil) is a hidden gem. Both of us never expected his vocals to be so strong in ‘Marc’s Prayer’ as we thought he was more of the funny guy in the show than anything else. But yeah, consider us impressed!
- The 2 actor/actress playing Mr Herman (Jules Jumari) and Ms Bell (Resurreccion Grace V Angel) were extremely good as well, which isn’t surprising given their respective backgrounds. Their duet of ‘The Teachers’ Argument’ was beautiful and both their voices blended very harmoniously together. Also have to mention that Jule’s solo of ‘These Are My Children’ was heart-wrenchingly good.
Ah, before I forget, there were a couple of humorous scenes involving the 2 funny guys – Joe Vegas (Muhd Ridhwan) and as mentioned above, Marc Washington (Mohamed Amirul B Jamil) which left us stricken with laughter in several of the scenes. Not forgetting the famous original quip/joke by the latter (originally Mabel Washington) – I’m on a Seafood Diet: I see food, and then I eat it!
Other things I would like to mention is that the running time for this production (including the intermission) was two and half hours which I feel is rather sufficient – doesn’t feel too long or short. The changing of each scene is very smooth, kudos to the stage crew and the live jazz band was great!
On the whole, I enjoyed the production of FAME – The Musical throughly and even though it was no broadway, I feel that it was an excellent performance/show put up by the cast – that was very enjoyable for all and so, I am sure that everyone who watched / will be watching it will enjoy.
Also, I can really tell the effort that all the people have put in and I commend them for that – considering that the production took 6 months to put together, which is actually a rather short time. Crystal and I recall that we performed for our Secondary School (Katong Convent)’s EMDD night in our CCA groups of Chinese Orchestra and Choir respectively and we remember how many rehearsals we had to attend for many months just for the 4 – 5 minutes stage time. For FAME, this is a 2 hour + long production so yeah, you can imagine..
Kudos to the director – Tony Quek, all the cast members, production team and all the people that were involved in putting together this musical. It was a GREAT PERFORMANCE and the amount of talent blew me away!
I just wanted to end off by giving my thanks to Christabel Lim, the Head/Arts Management, Centre for Music and The Arts and Jules Jumari for this invitation to watch FAME – The Musical!
If you’re still interested, the last show for FAME – The Musical is tomorrow at 3pm!
|Shows for General Public|
|24 March 2013, 3pm|
|2 Ang Mo Kio Drive|
|Tickets at $15 each ($10 for early bird bookings before 15 Feb 2013) available at ITE Customer Service Centres.|
|Call 6580 5075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for general enquiries.|