Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

New Generation Fight for Stardom

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

New Generation Fight for Stardom

Article excerpt

Fame (PG, 107mins) Musical. Naturi Naughton, Asher Book, Kherington Payne, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally, Debbie Allen, Kay Panabaker, Collins Pennie. Director: Kevin Tancharoen.

THIRTY years ago, the world was a very different place. There was no reality TV, no Big Brother and no Simon Cowell eager to sign up the next big thing.

When the original Fame was released in 1980, the new intake of students at the New York City High School of Performing Arts were told there was no easy route to success: "Fame costs. And right here is where you start paying... in sweat."

With Debbie Allen's classic line ringing out, against an R&B chorus of "Remember, remember...", so begins the remake of Fame, brought all-singing-and-dancing up to date.

In the same format as the original, we're taken through four years at the school - so for those new to Fame, it's like a gritty version of High School Musical without the basketball.

Through the opening auditions, we're introduced to the new young cast, playing the 10 main students, including Marco (Book), Jenny (Panabaker), Malik (Pennie), Alice (Payne) and Denise (Naughton).

Allen, who played dance teacher Lydia Grant in the original film and the spin-off shows, is back as Principal Simms.

She delivers a rousing speech to the new pupils, as well as reminding them that they're there to study: "We don't care about your dreams of being in OK magazine - if you want short cuts and easy rewards, I recommend leave now."

The school is no place for advocates of Andy Warhol's "15 minutes" theory. Instead, we see the hard graft, the rejections and emotional turmoil endured by the main characters as they struggle to fulfil their potential.

As with the original, all the kids have their own unique problems: Jenny's too tense, but desperate to act, and gets seduced by a former student-turned-TV star. …

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