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Two sides to ‘Fame’ at Playhouse South
Overabundance of talent leads to double casting.

By Terry Morris
November 12, 2011

At Playhouse South in Kettering, “Fame” means taking your turn.

Presented with a surplus of talent during auditions for the musical “Fame,” director Alan Bomar Jones decided to virtually double cast the show, which is now playing at the Clark Haines Theatre, 3700 Far Hills Ave.

Choosing teenagers to play teenagers, instead of the usual “Glee”-like practice of using young adults to play younger students, he’s using 21 performers to play the 14 roles. Seven performers are members of both casts, which music director Brent Greenwood first differentiated as the “left-brain” and “right brain” groups.

“We did this to allow more opportunities for good performers and to give people the incentive to come back and see two different performances,” said Jones, who faced other complications during rehearsals.

First, he couldn’t find a music director and finally put out the call on Facebook. Greenwood, fresh from doing “The Sound of Music” at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Centerville, took the position. He’s the one who gave the two casts their names.

Jones spent much of September in Pittsburgh, where he was cast in a production of David Mamet’s 2009 play “Race.”

Based on the 1980 film, “Fame” is a two-act musical by David De Silva, Jose Fernandez, Steve Margoshes and Jacques Levy. It’s set during the early ’80s in New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts.

It’s a dance-heavy show and Playhouse South’s production had three choreographers: Arizona Craycraft, Lisa Glover and Diana Hart. Stage manager is Lynn Brown.

Remaining shows are at 2 p.m. today, Nov. 13; 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, (both with the left-brain contingent), and 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 (right-brain cast).

Jones said both casts “are dynamic in their own ways. I don’t have a personal favorite.”

The “right-brain” cast includes: Zack Mitchem, Allison Cavanaugh, Nicholas Lynch-Voris, Marques Furr, Anna Erickson, Hillary Fenwick, Anna Prince, Brett Norgaard, Mandy Schweinfest, Michael Wasser, Anne Potter, Sarah Armanutrout, Alex Lefeld and Laura Bloomingdale.

The “left” group includes Sarah Grace Griswold, Alexandra Dare, Anastasia Tsolometes, Lisa Glover, Kaja Burke-Williams, Tristen Erdman and Trisha Burke-Williams, along with Mitchem, Lynch-Voris, Furr, Norgaard, Wasser, Lefeld and Bloomingdale.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for students. Visit www.playhousesouth.org or call (888) 262-3792.


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