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BWW Review: FAME: THE MUSICAL at Admiralspalast Berlin


BWW Review: FAME: THE MUSICAL at Admiralspalast Berlin London's Selladoor Productions has gone to great expense and made a huge effort to produce a professional touring production of the musical FAME. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the seminal 1980 film, the producers present their audiences with a handsome, cleverly-designed, modular stage set, good lighting and sound, and an excellent pit band which is aided and abetted by some actors doubling as onstage musicians.

Nick Winston, FAME's director and choreographer puts a group of very hard-working triple-threats (actor/singer/dancers) as well as a sizeable technical crew through their paces. Everyone both on- and offstage is doing their damnedest to breathe life into a stillborn musical that, unfortunately, is simply not worth the effort.

If you are going to take an iconic movie with music and turn it into a stage show, your first priority should be having songs AT LEAST AS GOOD as those in the film. If you don't, "Why bother???" No one seems to have told the creator's of FAME: THE MUSICAL this axiom.

BWW Review: FAME: THE MUSICAL at Admiralspalast Berlin

When you have a dancer as charismatic and talented as Jamal Crawford as Tyrone, or a singing actress with an angelic voice like Molly McGuire's Serena, you would be well-advised to give these up-and-coming stars material worthy of their talents.

Instead, one spends what seems like an eternity listening to Jacques Levy's banal lyrics accompanied by Steve Margoshes' unmelodic drivel. Couple this spectacularly forgettable, immensely mediocre score with José Fernandez's cliché-ridden book, which schematically presents archetypes instead of living, breathing people, and you have the "perfect storm" for the creation of a musical nightmare.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you can tune out the songs and simply want to see some good dancing, a nice set and some hard-working, young performers -- go and see FAME: THE MUSICAL. If, however, you hope to see characters that you care about singing music that touches your soul -- rent or stream the movie.

Like the old saying goes, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

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From This Author Mark Janicello