“Two is company, four is a party, three is a crowd. One is a wanderer.” ― James Thurber

Two was DEFINITELY a crowd April 15th for Fame’s second production show.  No wonder, the night – when you can hardly find words to describe an event, you have something there.  Add to the fact that the Fame cast was even more electrified, even more plugged in, despite a GREAT first night of FAME? Literally, words can barely grasp the feeling the audience held – you could see it in the way audience members were smiling following the show, the excitement and questions audience members were asking BEFORE the show as the cast signed up for auditions…

Yes, the lobby was buzzing with excitement and to see the PA hopefuls sign up with the instructors, on the lobby before the show, as the audience stood by and watched this process – the WHOLE recreation of FAME – even starting at 4:50 – was mesmerizing.  I could feel the electrifying moment in everyone present.

Finding my seat in the audience, and having already had an idea of the potential students wanting to get into PA, and from their entrance interviews – I thought, I kind of have a gasp on this.  Get ready for a reality check.  Before I realized it, a soon to be PA auditioning member cast down beside me and started taking to be about how I could rely on him if I needed anything to get the “extra energy” I needed.  When you realize, as an audience member, the cast has worked to turn this experience, INTO an experience, from inside out, now all of a sudden you have an EXPERIENCE beyond a musical.

Most musicals, and of FAME, of course start with the curtain rising, actors in place, and you hear word of their acceptance to PA as any normal production with actors would begin.  Taking the experience of auditioning, taking the experience of the nervousness built up before the actual event, and putting it RIGHT INTO THE LAP OF THE audience members – from the beginning – when you are waiting in the lobby? – No curtain is needed when potential PA auditioning students come up to you and ask you if YOU are auditioning, wondering why YOU are here – oblivious to this being a show  – they have made this a reality for each and every attending member – now THAT – is truly an EXPERIENCE.  Way to go Arturo and Lara, just two of a huge cast that took the idea of FAME, and turned into a personal experience – and sharing it with a larger crowd.  How memorable is that? – I’d say beyond expectations!

Let’s just delve right in and see what occurred the second night – but let me tell you, with a first night without any major bumps, stops, and interruptions, you have to wonder, how can he second night pull off a event that leaves you wanting to go out and audition somewhere?  Well the cast did that and more…

Alani The shirt, the way she wears her hat sideways, without saying a word, you already understand she has some high expectations of herself and what she envisions PA adding to her life, or her adding to PA.  Perfectly played, Alani pushes the mentality of an intimidating experience and adds intimidating to something she rolls over.  You see this in the auditions, you see this on stage, it works all the way through this production.

AlejandraWhen not trying to recite her lines before auditioning, or into her ear buds trying to concentrate, being reprimanded to giving her full attention to being a part of PA, her seriousness flows from her.  You feel the character she portrays in doing anything and folding in herself to be a part of PA and make it.  Through this process you begin to see her develop as a PA student and even loosen up a little by the time graduation begin.  A part well, well-played.

Ana She comes off an portraying the ultimate ballet /dancer potential PA.  She smiles, she pushes herself through amid others and I have a feeling, this is not the last we are going to see of Ana in a production, at least we hope not.  Headphones as a part of her that seems to be not able to be separated, she has this spunk in they way she carries herself that lets you know not underestimate her.

Ana G While she certainly takes being a PA student seriously from her lessons of “finding her emotions” in a particular class, and becoming a world-class chair lifting champion during the process, it is easy to see her positive demeanor is promoted by those students around her.  She is able to take the idea of PA, the stress of performing, but seems to handle it well, positively, and feed off the pressure to succeed – a natural addition to the FAME cast it seems from the beginning.  As strange as it sounds, the flowers she wears say alot about how her personality in FAME reflects as well, you get the sense she will make it no matter what just based on her personality.

Ana PaulaI can’t think of anyone else that would be at the keyboard and still carry the enthusiasm she brings to a musician’s group – her energy and excitement – when she runs on stage is one of many fuels to the FAME fire that excites the audience when the plot is unfolding. Usually you see her attached to Tamara, but you still get a sense of wherever you see Ana Paula, a level of energy that represents the PA and the theme of FAME is there as well.

Ana SofiaLOVE that mischievous grin and you always wonder, what is she going to bring out of that ability to drum and challenge any authority for the sake of music.  You just end up looking for that mischievous smile and looking forward to what Ana is going to do next. A little bit of rebel wants to come out of you in the process  🙂  (I think the drumsticks and bandanna secures this vibe she produces to the audience from the very beginning).

Ana VictoriaMaybe it was sitting so close to the stage this time, but you can see the concern, you can see how she does indeed feel the hilarity of what the PA students bring to auditions, (and trying to suppress the urge to laugh) as well as trying to get alot of the PA students past their egos to perform and “find themselves.”  She does so with a grace only an educator can try to find in themselves.  If possible, she seemed even more chill the second night, yet with an urgency to move her students forward.

AnnabellaOkay, I have to admit, it’s odd to NOT see Annabella as the drummer – she fit into the role so well. Yet, it is exhilarating to see herself still maintain a bit of rebel as she supports Mabel and anyone else putting up a little bit of a fight/and revealing some rebelliousness.  Yes, she still maintains that aspect of her character in FAME on the stage and does it well.

AnaliseFrom when she stands on the chairs to sing and dance to participating in what that PA students do to survive, Analise is really everywhere on stage as well.  it is not easy to miss her and she plays her role seriously and with determination at the same time.  She makes herself visible and is easily a part of the cast, and simply seems a natural part of the cast – making this whole FAME plot very familiar to the audience.  I feel I miss some details she brings to the show as well with so many people on stage and look forward to those in the next couple of shows.

Arturo Attitude, a secret kind of something going on behind the scenes, and not taking much if anything from anyone.  While not Nick tonight, he didn’t need to be.  He was his own person and lets it be known on stage.  Played perfectly and it is awesome to see how versatile he can be before the show in his role, and during, excellent transition and ability that pushes the whole FAME plot forward.

Caroline Again, maybe because I was sitting so close to the stage this time, but the attitude and sense of overconfidence you see in the promo video – it eeks out a bit if you watch Caroline on stage, it’s perfect!  I can definitely see her confidence, and ability, if you see where and when she contributes to being a PA student, she does, she pushes those buttons, and she insures everyone around her knows it, you feel this when you see her on stage.  She is coming to her realizations of what she wants to do as an actor – this is super exciting to see.  Maybe it’s the hat?  I think it’s the hat that sets the tone from the very beginning, but it all works together  🙂

Emiliano It threw me off – I was expecting to see him holding the trumpet, and when he wasn’t I was like…WHERE?….but yes!  In blue!   From the very beginning if the auditions, to being one of many interested in PA, Emiliano plays the part of being a FAME cast member and a potential PA artists, with or without trombone.  He wears this expression as if he is just on the eve of something devilish…

Giulia – Okay so first, let’s get this straight.  It was not that she could wriggle her NOSE, it was her eyebrows.  Now that we have that out-of-the-way, I am not sure what it is, but you sense this level of something ready to be hysterical under the surface and Giulia will be right there.  Not sure where that comes from but it is there.  On stage you sense her willingness to want to be there, a supporter, a reinforcer and just – it is hard to imagine her NOT on stage after the first night, so having the presence? Check.  Being a member of FAME and the PA without having to go out of her way?  Check.  It is excellent to have someone that is just a natural fit, as fits Giulia.

HunterHear more of his voice we did.  It was so so cool to see him cast as Nick and the way he brings a slightly different, almost soft element to this character, and yet, his eyes come alive when he sees what he wants his future to be.  Hunter never crosses the line of having to represent himself by any bravado, but is able to represent himself through the mastery he seemingly knows of his talent.  He knows himself, what he wants, and we find out by the end he learns his mistakes oto avoid losing those nearest to him.  Pretty powerful when you can get the audience reeled in that deeply.

Ingrid – WHOA!    I mean W H O A!  I loved how Ingrid brought a completely new and dynamic meaning to the role that Serena play in FAME.  “She is naturally Serena!” and you almost leave this production thinking her real name SHOULD be Serena – she is – well she IS Serena!  It was awesome seeing Ingrid come upon realization after realization, often found through disappointment but she completely envelops the role of Serena and makes it her own, 100%, absolute.

IsabelIt’s funny, despite being Carmen the first show, Isabel STILL stands out in FAME due to her stature, the way she carries her self, and just her demeanor.  If anyone belonged to PA before they auditioned, you immediately have the feel this would be Isabel.  True, I am biased from her experience as Carmen the night before, but you will see it.  Her confidence, her wanting to be a key element and her ability to be a standout in all she projects to the audience – you realize this in seeing Isabel a natural part of this whole process surrounding everyone auditioning.

Isabella PI love the way she just blends in with potential PA members that seem to share her passion for rock, for being a little rebellious, but not having to do anything to show it.  Isabella seems to just FIT into this whole plot naturally the way she carries herself, reacts to others, reacts to the whole musical in general.  It is easy to see what being a natural is when you fit in as well as she does!

JorgeEVERYTIME I see this role I see a new facet of personality ALSO brought out in someone else. Be it Iris, or Mabel, or one of the instructors, not only does Jorge bring a strength to his own role, but brings out elements in others personalities that you only see after seeing repetitively.  That becomes a whole new level of performing and often it is not possible to find the words to show the power and understanding Jorge moves through in this production. Amazing.

Juan ManuelI think it was the hat.  Yeah, maybe the hat.  Yet Juan Manuel was much more of a presence this second show, and yet he easily fit into the role of someone kind of hanging back and yet, he seems he as alot to surprise the PA staff with his ability.  He can do all this without truly saying a word, you just get this FEEL.  This is pretty darn great, and it is a testament to what he brings to the stage of FAME.

Juliana – I love how you realize things even more as they progress.  Or you catch the details you miss at first.  The way Juliana’s eyes light up when she sees the opportunity PA provides to her, the look of disbelief when Mabel is finishing a bag of chips at the BEGINNING of ballet, they all enhance her role.  Her optimism seems to pour from her expressions, and she does this so well in the way she carries herself on the stage, you just expect it to all turn out well.  She is made for productions, to this I have no doubt.

LaraLara carries this tailgating, cheerleading, shouting for a fellow PA student mentality that just naturally makes her part of the whole FAME scheme.  She is ever-present based on her energy and enthusiasm she shows, from the very beginning greeting everyone to rooting for them and chanting for them when they have their moment in the spotlight – she is a definite ever-present part of what PA becomes.

LuI will never stop having such a hard time getting over the raw emotion when I saw her expressing what LA did to her. Whoa, I am still carrying that memory.  The intensity of the emotions she hands to the audience, coupled with a voice that moves through you –  I mean THROUGH you – and the slight smirk she is able to produce at the exact right moment – there is nothing I can say about how amazing it was to see Carmen develop and unfolds in front of you, making it even harder to see it all fall apart by the end.  Lu takes you there and makes it impossible for you to return from this experience.

Maria – Nailed it.  I felt that way the first show, and even more so this second show.  It makes such a difference being so close to the stage, almost as if I am seeing a different person, with the same ability x5.  Her gutsiest (new word), commitment even when it shows conflicts with other admin, and her genuine demeanor when it comes to reflecting on her role – in front of students and one on one, there is no doubt when she comes on and off stage she was made for this role.  Absolute and GREAT to see.

ElisaMore of a presence than the first night you see her into everything PA offers and what FAME represents.  You could see her, feel her optimism, and enjoy the carrying-on of the key people who try to shake things up at the PA.  More than just someone hanging back, she asserted herself more so – whether that was from her increased energy level or – it is difficult to put an exact reason on it, but definitely, it is almost that you feel at ease when you see Elisa on stage.

Marion More so than the first night, I kept trying to figure out how I didn’t remember Marion more from the first show, but she stood out even more during the second show absolutely.  When you see her smile, her expressions, she seems to be looking right at YOU, as if you are the only one in the audience.  To be able to do that and not have from the beginning a very specific role that leads out – she has this energy you see as soon as she hits the stage.  It was great realizing and seeing this, and was a definite plus to the overall production of FAME this second show.

NataliaSeriously, she GLARED at me in the lobby.  This was so well done, her role is so well-played from beginning to end.  Take the promo video of her role, and add consecutive degrees of confidence from the first night and you see Natalia continuing to make the idea of FAME her own.  You can’t really say enough to state how well she nails her roles  🙂

Nathalie ZIf you notice Nathalie’s expressions and the way she just naturally is a presence – the wantingness that is felt to belong in PA is shown all over her smile, her hustling back and forth in the beginning to various auditions, and continuing to support the funny the serious, the dramatic, the newly occurring.  She seems to be involved in every character’s dilemma, decision, and advent, and overall, very difficult to see how she would not be on stage to be an overall part of the PA and Fame.  Present from the beginning when all potential students converge for auditions, she seems to be an integral part of all that happens and you begin to look for her at each of the two performances so far. 

Nicolas – Okay, yes.  He does get worked up.  ALOT.  So why do we love seeing this so much?  His demeanor, his ability to turn an accent into an event you look forward too when combined with his frustration – true it makes you worn out a bit when it comes to the amount of time you are laughing.  Plus it is good to see an admin show some frustration when we normally see such cool and relaxed responses.  Nicolas is able to turn the level of “I’m going to bust an artery” into hilarity when the music he envisions, does not match at all with what he receives.  But let me emphasize, the cowbell ?  It is a home run.

NicoleShe doesn’t soften necessarily, but it is almost as you see even more of the who Nicole is as Iris in the second show.  Why?  How?  I can’t put my finger on it, but certainly her intensity, desire, and ability to be that central key and doorway for success for not ony Tyrone, but for the ideal that finding yourself involves getting past something you see as yourself, and coming into your own thanks to the interpretations of reality – she seems to be able to define this.  Hence, this, and Nicole herself, becomes a central part of taking experiences and becoming a new person as a result – how lucky can you be to see this unfold in front of you through this production?

PabloCLASSIC FAME.  The ability to get others to fall into his charms, or to walk away in disgust take work from some, but none from Pablo.  He is everywhere at the same time, and he leaves memories of what FAME becomes to everyone from the beginning to the very end, in so many ways, I can’t even attempt to list them all here.  From his memories of a funeral that impacted his life, to the ability to turn a Romeo and Juliet scene into hilarity, these become two of countless ways he lets everyone know, he is absolutely Joe Vegas.

PedroJust when you think you know a character and you have seen it before – Bam!   Not at all.  I thought I was seeing a new character – and I liked the Pedro from the FIRST NIGHT!  The energy and ability to put himself into the role when tragedy hits Carmen, sympathizing and it seeming as this was occurring to HIS character, and the passion he puts into that cowbell (I could watch that 100 times and still not get tired of it, after I get my breath from laughing) – I LOVE THIS CHARACTER and his growth in one night, when it was a good performance to begin with? – All I can see is GREAT – GREAT – GREAT.

SaraI am not going to spoil anything from her IB Visual review (coming!) – but – if you had to pick of all the cast one that is finding herself in volumes, I pick Sara as a definite.  She rocked the first night with being a team player as part of the ballet troupe, but something just clicked up a notch the second night even more.  Her smile, her interactions with Joe Vegas, I am not sure, but you sense her confidence a huge notch, heck a whole level more so on the second night and to not have her in FAME?  It just seems unnatural to NOT see her on the stage!

Sarah I noticed it when Sarah first came to ASF – and I notice it on stage.  She has a confidence and “I do not care in the least what others think – if it fits me it is all that matters.”  This says everything about her ability and confidence to be an absolute member of the PA and in the FAME set.  You will sense this every time you see her encourage Tyrone, Pablo and those around her.  She carries this sense of mischievousness and plotting that you can sense when it comes to the ego carrying Pablo and Tyrone, and she is ever-present no matter where she is on stage.  LOVE.

Sofia- You can’t take anything away from the supporting hilarity, and cheerleading Sofia brings to those around her.  In no way does she appear a weak character, until it comes to a scale or going more than 30 minutes without food, but her wit, strength, and smile – 100% contagious and genuine in the whole scheme of things when it comes to FAME.  The second night it only amplified and made you laugh even harder.  Love looking forward to her role for each production.

Sofia I She is the PA member you can probably bounce any thoughts, fears, or comments off of.  From the very beginning of the auditioning process, she welcomes a wide array of friends and she comes off as being the ultimate person you can trust.  Despite the advances of Joe Vegas in the ballet room no less, her expressions, ability to take you in as a welcoming part of FAME, and shaking your had with her reactions to all around her – she is no doubt a part of the FAME cast from the very beginning.

SusanneWhile I enjoyed Susanne as Serena so much, I think seeing her in that lead role emphasized her role as part of the PA – and NOT being Susanne as well in the second night.  You don’t need to look for Susanne to know she is a part of the PA and fame cast – you just know.  That says volumes about what she is capable of, without having to be over the top assertive, she just IS – love that about her as a part of any production we have seen her in so far.

TamaraOkay, seriously, I admit it, I am LOOKING FORWARD to the high five when it comes to rewarding the comments made about Death of a Salesman.  Tamara is the ultimate cheerleader and supporter of all things that moves the PA students together.  Do NOT let the lying down and tired during introductions at PA fool you, her “this is going to be good” smile when something is about to happen and ability to push forward an event to the point of hilarity – it is always there in queue – priceless.

XimenaReceptive but standing her ground, being able to pull out that stubborn backbone when it is required, you see this even more in the second show.  From the very beginning when you see her taking auditions, to caring for her daughter during rehearsals at the PA school if you have any doubts of whether she has made PA her home, then we’re watching the wrong show.  She’ll argue, she’ll fight, she’ll go the extra mile in soft and loud actions – but she will be there no matter what.  Ximena just keeps reinforcing the energy and ability to assert herself in this role, and positions herself in the cast of FAME even more in the second.  (How is that possible?)

To have a director return, a dance coordinator, a music coordinator, building and Arts directors, and a Tech Club with stage crew abilities do so much, when so much is asked and many do not expect a level of thanks back with such a needed job – and receiving kudos and thanks back – and doing such an amazing job that a level of even more enthusiasm – see Paty, see Javier, see Jose!, see Isabel, Ale, EVER Tech crew member when they come on

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stage to receive well-deserved applause – in no sense of the way does Tech Crew or the lighting, or the stage crew go unnoticed – as it should be.

When you leave the second night’s show with a feeling like this, you can’t help but think – PA?  FAME?  Yeah let’s do this a few more times at least!  Bravo FAME crew – which

covers MUCH support – as a whole – which makes each one of us feel as if we want to live forever.


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
This entry was posted in Drama Productions, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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