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Friday, June 11, 2004

Fame Throwa

Last week, the Mrs. won tickets to see Fame, The Musical. She had to sing the first verse of "Fame! I'm gonna live forever!" on the radio. And she did. So, even though I generally despise musicals I volunteered to go along, because I like my wife.

Well, lemme tell ya...

If you enjoy plays about one-dimensional stereotyped characters who deal with stock situations by singing trite songs to canned music, while dancing, this might be for you.

Here are some of the characters (I'm sure you've seen them before):

  • The Black Guy: he's a tough street kid with amazing natural dance talent. But he can't focus on his schoolwork and might get thrown out of the school. Drama! He raps.
  • The Jew: he's a Serious Pianist who's struggling to live up to the expectations of his family. His name is (no joke) "Schlomo". He has an original piano piece, which he calls a "sonata", that just happens to be ideal as the background for the vapid lovesong lyrics that the cute Black Girl wrote. It's an instant American Idol song.
  • The Latina: she's a firey diva. All her songs are Latin flavored - like Taco Bell. Aye! ¬°Ella es tan caliente!
  • The Punk Rock Girl: she's a drummer. She does a drum solo and tries to start a "punk" band. She just wants to rock.
  • The Latino: he's a wise-cracking playboy who hides his real self behind a macho front. He does a mucho sexy dance with lots of pelvic thrusts and inane innuendo.
  • The Serious Actor: he's an actor who's had some commercial success (in a TV commercial) but really wants to be a Serious Actor. He looks like Will Wheaton. He's hounded by...
  • The Romantic: she's a shy girl who's never been kissed and wants to explore romance with the Serious Actor. He's all like "Don't be ridiculous. Let's do some Beckett." She's all like "Let's do a love scene of our own! Wahh!"
  • The Dance Teacher: she's a free-spirited artistic type who sees the raw talent in Black Guy and wants to overlook his academic failures, much to the chagrin of...
  • The Principal: she's a hard-nosed disciplinarian who knows that few of these kids will make it ("that movie" about the school has given all the new kids false hope, she moans). So she insists they all have to pass all their academic classes. She sings a duet with The Dance Teacher (good grades! / raw talent!). It sucks and makes me embarassed to be in the same room as the actors.

In the first half, each character gets 3 minutes to tell you which stereotype they'll be playing, in song. So, it's just a mind-numbing stream of crappy songs with insipid lyrics about predictable situations. Then I think there was something about an end-of-year recital or pageant or something - gotta have goals!

We left during intermission - my wife's suggestion.


I don't expect this one will win many Tony awards.

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.