The highly entertaining and energetic Fame - The Musical is getting audiences up on their feet in Bucks this week. CAMILLA GOODMAN reviews the show
Fame is one of my favourite musicals. It was the show that sparked my love for musical theatre when I first saw it in West End about 12-years ago so I was delighted when I learnt it was coming to Bucks.
The show is now a quarter of a century old and the 25th anniversary tour of Fame - The Musical is being performed at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Saturday (Mar 29).
Its tagline is 'Fame The Musical - Like you've never seen it before' and I have to say I agree.
Gary Lloyd's new production breathes new life into the 80s classic and brings it firmly into the 21st century.
One thing saying goodbye from the classic production is the well-known 80s outfits, I only counted two pairs of leg warmers and they were black and red with not a fluorescent item to be seen.
The show's outfits and music has been revamped giving it a fresh feeling, and it really works. It was a risky thing to do but it paid off and I think the audience loved it, even those donning bright leg warmers and sweatbands.
The show also has modern references such as Katy Perry, all the pupils have smart phones and there is event some Twerking for all the Miley Cyrus fans out there.
The new show also has some subtle plot changes, but I will not say too much so I do not give away any surprises to those who have not seen the show before.
Although the set was quite simple, with revolving steps, lockers and school walls it was effective and I really liked how the pillars at the side of the stage lit up with different colours at certain points in the show.
The band also deserve a special mention. They were superb and I liked the added touch and of the New York City High School for the Performing Arts' music pupils becoming part of the band at one point.
The show's choreography was mesmerising from start to finish. All of the cast were fantastic at dancing but I feel Alex Thomas who plays Tyrone Jackson deserves a special mention, he was a real delight to watch and an extraordinarily talented dancer. How he was able to do some of those high kicks and splits is beyond me, but a few men in the audience certainly looked uncomfortable.
The singing in the show was sensational, with Sarah Harlington, who plays Serena Katz, Landi Oshinowo, who plays Miss Sherman and Hermione Lynch, who plays Miss Bell, all giving stunning performances.
However, without a shadow of a doubt Jodie Steele, who plays the troubled Carmen Diaz was the star of the show.
Jodie, who is a southern sweetie in real life, plays the hard New York teenager to perfection but her real talent is her singing. I have never heard a voice like Jodie's before, it is astonishing.
I spoke to Jodie before the show and she told me singing In LA was the highlight of the show for her, and no wonder - wow. The audience went wild when she finished it and I do not think there was a dry eye in the house.
I truly believe Jodie is a superstar and I fully expect to see big things from her in the future. Remember her name.
Jodie of course nails the well-known number Fame as well and gets everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, up on their feet for a little boogie at the end.
Gary Lloyd's production of Fame is absolutely brilliant and new fans and old fans alike will adore it.
Quite simply Gary Lloyd has proved that Fame is a musical that is going to live forever.
Tickets cost £12.90 to £41.40.For tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/Aylesbury or call 0844 871 7607.
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