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Home > Past Buzz > Interview with Director/Choreographer, Sha Newman


Q: Did you have many people audition for your show?

A: Yes. We had over 400 very talented people audition for this regional tour of "Fame, the Musical". This production will tour Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, Thousand Oaks and Long Beach, California January through February, 2003. It's also a full Equity (AEA) company of professional and exceptional performers. (AEA is Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers).

Q: What was your most challenging part to cast?

A: The hardest role for me to cast was "Carmen Diaz". It requires an exceptional triple threat, i.e. actress, singer, dancer of Hispanic decent. I held several auditions in my search for this role in Los Angeles, as well as NYC. We cast Christina Souza. She appeared as "Selena" in the musical Selena, A Celebration of Life .

Q: Was anyone pre-cast for this production?

A: Yes. The producer and president of Theatre League, Mark Edelman, wanted someone from the original television series to play a teacher in the show. They did a search and found David Greenlee. David will be playing the music teacher Mr. Sheinkopf.

Q: Tell me about finding actors who can also play instruments in the roles.

A: There are many requirements that are a specialty in the cast of "Fame, the Musical". It is difficult and a blessing when you find an actor/singer/musician who can also move well. We were very lucky to find three very talented and versatile performers to fill the bill. I put out a search with a director friend of mine ad Disneyland to post audition notices in hopes that someone from the "Blast" show at the park would be interested. Luckily we got a few folks in and they very talented Sean Billings will be playing "Goody" (aka Goodman King ). He can play the trumpet and flugelhorn incredibly!

Joshua Krantz will be in the role of 'Schlomo Metzenbaum". He's an accomplished actor, singer and pianist and has fine-tuned his talents on the violin as well!

Angela Pupello is "Lambchops" (aka Grace Lamb ) the female drummer in the show. She has multiple Broadway credits and we are thrilled to have her in the show. And yes, she really plays the drums too!

Q: Have you directed this show before?

A: No. This will be my "debut", so to speak with "Fame". I am thrilled to be able to bring this show to the Theater League audiences. I will be creating all new choreography too! I also had the pleasure of meeting with David De Silva, the conceiver and developer - aka "Father Fame" on a recent trip to NYC. It was very beneficial to be able to actually talk with the creator of a project. To bring to life what he has set on paper is the magic of theatre - and I hope we make him proud.


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