A collection of reviews from various productions of FAME the musical.
“There are some fantastic dance numbers choreographed by Gary Lloyd, among them an ensemble flamenco piece with all the trimmings, and the aggressively catchy ‘Dancing On The Sidewalk’. Wisely, Flynn and co refrain from using the title song as a reprise throughout the show, so that when it comes it has real impact, and doesn’t overshadow Jacques Levy’s other, equally good lyrics. However, some of these are cheesy, particularly ‘These Are My Children’. Except when delivered by Sheila Ferguson, former lead singer of The Three Degrees who plays Esther Sherman the English Teacher, in which case they become the most powerful and affecting in the show.”
The Irish Independent reviewing the UK tour.
“The production was never going to win an Olivier for Services to Finesse – how could it with that many leg-warmers, patchwork floppy hats and back-to-front baseball caps on show? But the energy expended – especially on a hot night – was astonishing. It was exhausting just to watch; by the end we felt as if we had just gone 12 rounds with Eubank – and we were merely the audience…In the end, though, it was a case of “Never mind the plot, feel the show- stoppers.” Saving the best till last, the encore of the title song was delivered from the roof of a New York yellow cab, which drove on stage through a cloud of dry ice. Eat your heart out, Miss Saigon.”
The Independent reviewing the original production in 1995.
“New York’s School for the Performing Arts must be suffering from some kind of talent shortage this semester. That’s what you’d think, anyway, having witnessed the students in Fame the Musical. They’re an uninspiring bunch, who often look lumpish in the dancing department, off-key in singing, and decidedly wooden when it comes to drama…Still, these are small crimes compared with those perpetrated by the creators of this misbegotten show. If anyone deserves to flunk out, its these guys, for dreaming up the collection of dim-witted songs and lycra-thin plot lines in the first place.”
Whatsonstage, 1998 Production at the Prince of Wales Theatre
“Plenty of hard work has clearly gone into this tight and energetic production of Fame the Musical. With a slight reworking of the choreography by director Karen Bruce from her previous tours, the ensemble set about their dance routines with precision and attention to detail…Intelligent structuring – and the inclusion of Fame itself – gets the audience on their feet and away home happy. Yet it is without the satisfaction of a story well told.”
The Stage Online, 2009 UK tour