The Pioneer Theatre Guild (PTG) opened FAME The Musical, the pop-culture phenomenon about the legendary New York High School of the Performing Arts, last week to huge crowds, big smiles and loud applause. In case you missed, there is still time to catch the show.
Final shows will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday (May 3-4) evenings with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 5.
Set in the 1980s, the story follows a talented group of students from admission to graduation as they navigate the world of music, theatre, and dance, with all its challenges and triumphs. This energetic musical features the Academy Award-winning title song, “FAME,” along with many other catchy pop numbers.
Annie Chen, a sophomore at Pioneer, admits she’s biased but she can’t say enough good things about the actors and actresses picked to play in such a demanding show.
“They did a really good job casting this show,” she says. “The best casts are ones where roles are a great mix of relate-ability and challenge for the actors and actresses, and I think they hit the mark for this show. On top of that, not only are those playing named characters incredibly talented, the ensemble is filled with incredible actors, singers, and dancers, who really give the performance that extra dimension and life.”
The cast for “Fame, the Musical,” is split into three smaller groups based off the cliques in Fame ’s high school: the musicians, the actors, and the dancers. Junior Etai Smotrich-Barr says the cast is “amazing.”
“The dance ensemble is incredibly talented and are given lots of dance features throughout the show,” he says. “I’m a member of the musicians, as Schlomo is a violinist and pianist, and although I am jealous of the dancer’s talents (I have two left feet myself), I still believe that ‘music is the hardest profession in the world,’ as you will learn in one of our songs.”
FAME drew in cast and crew from all around the district. Pioneer senior Mia Galbraith finds it “humbling” to be surrounded by such talented students. “It is truly a pleasure to watch the cast push themselves every day,” she says. “The choreography for this show is mind-bending, absolutely beautiful and crazy hard. The music has intense rhythms and harmonies for singers. The different talents the cast brought to the table from day one is what makes our FAME so special.”
And then there is the crew.
“There’s no way to begin talking about how instrumental the crews are to a show,” Mia says. “I cannot get enough of the hardworking students at PTG and the crew students are not exempt from that. I am in awe of the work with all of PTG, but boy do the crews deserve a round of applause.”
Pioneer High School
601 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor
$15 (Adults); $10 (Students, 65+ Seniors)
General admission tickets available at the door, beginning one hour before each performance.
CREDITS: Conceived and Developed by David De Silva, with Book by Jose Fernandez, and Music and Lyrics by Steve Margoshes and Jacques Levy. Title Song “FAME” Written By Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore.
CREATIVE TEAM: Director/Choreographer: Maya Alwan; Associate Director: James Young; Associate Choreographer: Thani Brant; Music Director: Ryan Mackenzie Lewis; Assistant Music Director: John Bogdan.
ABOUT THE CAST
The cast is made up of 58 AAPS high school students who attend Pioneer High School, Community High School, Skyline High School, and the Early College Alliance at EMU. In addition, 60 students work on the Crew in sound, lighting, costumes, props, sets, paint, and makeup.
Sean Carter Photography