Fame Junior | Book Musical, POP/ROCK| Rated G
Fame Junior | Book Musical, POP/ROCK| Rated G
About the Show
From the hit motion pictures, television series, and international stage success, FAME is nothing short of a global phenomenon.
Set during the last years of New York City's celebrated High School for the Performing Arts on 46th Street (1980-1984), FAME JR. is the bittersweet but ultimately inspiring story of a diverse group of students as they commit to four years of grueling artistic and academic work. With candor, humor and insight, the show explores the issues that confront many young people today.
With its topical subject manner, multi-ethnic cast of actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists and high-energy, contemporary pop score (which includes the hit title song),FAME JR. is an ideal musical for young performers.
The curtain rises as young boys and girls, starry-eyed and hopeful, pray for an acceptance letter from the prestigious High School for the Performing Arts in New York City. A drummer, known as Lambchops, rips open her envelope and explodes with excitement. Other students tear their envelopes apart to find acceptance letters! We transition to the school where we meet the English teacher, Miss Sherman, and an array of new students: Carmen Diaz, Serena Katz, Schlomo Metzenbaum, Nick Piazza, Jose Vegas, Tyrone Jackson, and many others. Students are thrown into the rigorous studies of P.A. and experience the demands of drama, dance, and music class. Freshman year has officially begun ("Hard Work").
In dance class, with Ms. Bell, students receive their syllabus. In music class, with Mr. Sheinkopf, Goody and Schlomo meet Lambchops. Now in the hallway, Serena and Nick strike up a friendship – she recognizes him as "that guy from the peanut butter commercial." Nick is embarrassed, though, and insists he doesn't want to be known for that…he wants to be a real actor; an actor who is known for his craft ("I Want To Make Magic").
As students warm up to dance, Ms. Bell enters with a new student – Iris Kelly. Tyrone is immediately drawn to her but Mabel insists she is out of his league. When Tyrone has trouble dancing the adagio, Iris takes note and the two begin arguing. At the climax of the argument, however, Tyrone admits his feelings to her.
We now move forward one year, to sophomore year ("Sophomore Year"). At lunch, Irene and Tyrone playfully chat, Joe chases after Carmen, and Mabel struggles with her eating habits. When Carmen asks Mr. Myers to be excused for an audition, he insists that she is trying to hide behind characters and end up being just another pretty face that nobody cares about. Carmen, now determined more than ever, begins fantasizing about her aspirations of becoming a star ("There She Goes! - Fame").
Elsewhere, Nick and Serena are rehearsing a love scene from The Seagull. Serena, who insists she is having trouble relating to the play, continues to break character and Nick becomes frustrated. When Nick discovers his headshot in Serena's bag, he becomes agitated and tells Serena she should find a new scene partner. Serena, now all alone, reveals her complicated feelings for Nick ("Let's Play A Love Scene").
In the band room, Schlomo is practicing when Carmen surprises him. Carmen has brought lyrics for a new "top ten hit" and wants to try them out with Schlomo – they take the song for a test drive ("Bring On Tomorrow"). As the two begin rewriting through adlib and freestyle, there is musical chemistry; the two have formed a bond.
While Iris and Tyrone rehearse for the next Junior Festival, with Ms. Bell, Miss Sherman informs the dance teacher that Tyrone will not be eligible to participate because he has failed Sophomore English class. When Miss Sherman accuses Tyrone of cheating, Tyrone proclaims that he is quitting the festival and promptly storms off. Ms. Bell then accuses Sherman of being unfair and confronts her, insisting that artists are special people – Tyrone just needs to be given a chance to succeed ("The Teacher's Argument").
We now move forward one year, to junior year ("Junior Year"). In the hallway, Carmen vents her frustration about acting class and Mr. Meyers to Schlomo. He tells her they are a team, through thick and thin – he'll accept Carmen for who she is.
Backstage, at the Junior Festival dress rehearsal, teachers are preparing their students. Carmen arrives at the last minute. The music begins and we see the ensemble of students in the midst of their performance: a medley of familiar songs featuring familiar faces ("Junior Festival"). As rehearsal ends, Tyrone runs into Miss Sherman. She is impressed to learn that Tyrone has passed Sophomore English in summer school.
In the hallway, Nick congratulates Serena on being cast as Juliet for the school's production of ROMEO AND JULIET. Nick and Serena share a tender moment, and agree that being friends offstage is the best idea. Elsewhere, we find Carmen clearing out her lock. Mr. Myers encourages Carmen to stick with it and use her anger for good. When Schlomo enters, it is revealed that Carmen has met a shady talent scout, Elliot Green – she is leaving school to travel with him. Schlomo, who feels defeated, leaves her alone in the hallway.
In another part of school, Mabel continues to struggle with her eating habits and finally kneels down to search for help from above ("Mabel's Prayer")! The girls stand by to offer support. The next day, in English class, Miss Sherman believes she has discovered the source of Tyrone's academic struggles – he suffers from dyslexia. Miss Sherman promises the young dancer that she will help him, but Tyrone refuses.
We move forward one year, to senior year ("Senior Year"). In a rehearsal for ROMEO AND JULIET, Serena and Joe are having trouble practicing their love scenes. Nick, who cannot help himself, continues to butt in as well. Finally, Joe tells Nick to try it out and he does – Mr. Meyers is so impressed that he gives Joe his wish…Nick is the new Romeo. Iris enters, followed after by Tyrone who is frustrated. Iris has not spoken to Tyrone all semester. It is revealed that he will be repeating his senior year.
At Graduation, the students are eagerly awaiting completion of the school year. Nick and Serena affirm their long-lasting friendship and Schlomo commemorates the memory of Carmen. As a group, the students come forward and share one final song ("Bring On Tomorrow [Reprise]").
Children in Cast, Ensemble Cast - Many featured roles, Showcases trained dancers, Showcases trained singers, Strong/Large Chorus, Teenage Roles
Heavy (Extensive Dance Sections/Solos), Standard (Musical Staging/Some Dance/Optional)
NICK PIAZZA, SERENA KATZ, JOE (JOSE) VEGAS
TYRONE JACKSON, CARMEN DIAZ, IRIS KELLY, MABEL WASHINGTON
SCHLOMO METZENBAUM, GRACE (LAMBCHOPS) LAMB, GOODMAN (GOODY) KING
MISS ESTHER SHERMAN, MS. GRETA BELL, MR. MYERS, MR. SHEINKOPF
MALE AND FEMALE ENSEMBLE
Acting Ensemble are male and female students who are in Mr. Myer’s scenes and all ensemble numbers. They should be good singers, actors and movers.
Carmen Diaz believes she is ready for stardom, and nothing is going to stop her. This is the role to cast your true triple threat - great actor, great singer and great dancer.
Dance Ensemble kids have the hardest ensemble role in the show, so cast dancers who can sing. They don’t have to be perfect ballerinas, but they will need to look comfortable in a dance class at a performing arts school.
GOODMAN (GOODY) KING
Goodman (Goody) King is the third band member. This role is perfect for a young student just learning to be confident onstage.
GRACE (LAMBCHOPS) LAMB
Grace (Lambchops) Lamb is a drummer with a lively personality. This featured role is great for a young actress who isn’t afraid to take a few risks.
Iris Kelly pretends she is wealthy and high-class but drops these pretenses once she feels comfortable. Iris should be one of your strongest dancers who can also act.
JOE (JOSE) VEGAS
Joe (José) Vegas is the class clown who loves performing on and offstage. Joe has just a few solo lines, so casting an actor who is funny and over the top is more important than finding someone with brilliant singing skills.
Mabel Washington enjoys performing as much as she hates dieting. Mabel eventually learns to be happy with herself and her body, but not before fully experiencing the pains of being a dancer. When casting Mabel, try not to cast an especially skinny girl; however she does not need to be overweight either. Simply cast a good singer with soul who is comfortable talking about her weight onstage.
MISS ESTHER SHERMAN
Miss Esther Sherman (English Teacher) is a powerful, strong woman who firmly believes academic subjects are the core of a solid education. Cast a mature actress with a strong speaking and singing voice.
G3 - E5
Mr. Myers (Acting Teacher) is perhaps the most relaxed of the teachers, but he still demands full commitment from the students. This non-singing role is a good acting challenge for either a male or female student with good rhythm.
Mr. Sheinkopf (Music Teacher) adds a bit of comic relief to the show but still doesn’t let up when there is work to be done. Mr. Sheinkopf doesn’t sing, but he does lead the most difficult section of “Hard Work.” Cast an actor, male or female, with a solid sense of rhythm.
- GRETA BELL
Ms. Greta Bell (Dance Teacher) is a passionate teacher who is not afraid to push her students to reach their full artistic potential. Cast a natural leader who is both a great singer and actor.
Music Ensemble are kids in all music scenes and ensemble numbers. Cast singers and actors. It would be a plus if a few of them can play a musical instrument, which you could highlight during the show.
Nick Piazza is focused on learning the craft of "real" acting. Cast a good singer and actor who has maturity and wisdom on his side.
Schlomo Metzenbaum is a really likable guy who tries to get along with everyone. Cast a solid actor and a good singer. It is a bonus plus if Schlomo is able to play the piano.
Serena Katz loves the life of an artist but is equally as interested in boys, specifically Nick. Serena should have a beautiful voice and a solid handle on her acting skills.
Tyrone Jackson has talent, but he wants to use it his own way rather than conform to the school’s rules. He is constantly switching between his tough-guy persona and a young man trying to woo Iris. Tyrone is a dancer with no vocal solos, so cast an actor who is a great mover that also has solid acting skills.
PERFORMANCE ACCOMPANIMENT CD
PIANO VOCAL SCORE