News Column

'Fame Jr.': TCT's Summer Youth Theatre presents musical

June 12, 2014

By Sheena Barnett, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo

June 12--TUPELO -- Picture it: New York City'sHigh School for the Performing Arts, 1980.

That's a familiar time and location for fans of the TV show and movie "Fame."

Tupelo Community Theatre'sSummer Youth Theatre is producing "Fame Jr.," which follows a group of young actors, singers and dancers through all four years of high school.

"It's been toned down, but it's still about relationships between teenagers," said director Bobby Geno. "We go all the way through high school. The music and choreography is very show choir."

The musical has its share of funny and heartfelt moments, as the students struggle with their ambitions and emotions, as well as bigger issues such as eating disorders and learning disabilities.

"It shows how hard students can work to get what they want," said Layla Taylor, 18. She plays Serena, a young actress who has a crush on the more serious Nick, played by Josh Martin.

"I feel like the show capsulates teenage emotions," Martin, 16, said. "You can relate to the characters, even if you haven't been through what they're going through."

The cast is made up of 13-18 year olds, so Geno's coached them on everything 1980s.

He actually told them not to see the "Fame" film, but instead to watch John Hughes' teen flicks like "Pretty in Pink" and "Sixteen Candles" for inspiration.

"If you want to relive the '80s, that's where we're going," Geno said. "Come with us to the '80s."



--What: Tupelo Community Theatre'sSummer Youth Theatre presents "Fame Jr."

--When: 7:30 p.m.June 19-20, 2 p.m.June 21

--Where: The Lyric, Tupelo

--Cost: $10/adults, $5/students

--Info: (662) 844-1935

--"Fame Jr." cast: Aaron Gavin (Schlomo Metzenbaum); Allie Nichols (Carmen Diaz); David Neely (Tyrone Jackson); Jackson Finch (Goodman King); Jake White (Joe Vegas); Josh Martin (Nick Piazza); Julianna Coleman (Grace Lamb); Layla Taylor (Serena Katz); Massive Arancibia (Iris Kelly); Tyra Parks (Mabel Washington); Katelyn Stieg (Miss Sherman); Penelope Dao (Ms. Greta Bell); Tyler Swinney (Mr. Myers); Victoria Wise (Mrs. Scheinkopf); Mae Barnes, Scarlett Williams, Hunter Rodgers (Dance ensemble); Dakota Taylor, Mary Clair Kelly, Meredith McLaurin, Regan Plunkett (Music ensemble); Anna Walker Davis, Hollie Trent, Kate Burleson, Morgan Mahin (Acting ensemble)


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Source: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo)

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