41-member cast, crew presents Fame here tomorrow night

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Show set for 7 p.m. Wed. at LBW

“This is an old-fashioned way to be traveling,” David de Silva said of the 32 cast members and nine crew members who will present Fame here tomorrow night. “This is a bus and truck production.”

De Silva created the movie, television and stage productions of Fame, the 1980s phenom about life at New York City’s High School of Performing Arts.

In the spring of 1980, more than 4,000 hopefuls auditioned for the school; only 97 were admitted. The plot of Fame  follows a group of students across the acting, dancing and music faculties from 1980-1984 as they learn to master their craft and grow up alongside each other, rising to the various challenges that face them.

“Fame is set in the 80s,” de Silva said in an interview Monday. “What makes it unique is that not only is it funny and emotional and full of incredible talent, but the story has a social consciousness. One of the major themes of the story is a character who wants to achieve fame too fast in life. That’s very dangerous; especially in our culture today,” he said. “We are living in the age of YouTube fame.

“I promote the importance of theater arts and education in life,” he said. “No matter what you do in life – if you are exposed to theater – you’ll do it better because you are taught how to present yourself and project your personality.”

De Silva said he loves the cast that’s traveling with this show, adding that the “bus and truck” production allows live theater to get to places that normally the direct-from-Broadway productions can’t go.”

Even though he’s contributed to the big screen, small screen and stage productions, he loves the stage version best.

“There is a creative process that’s not in the movie, and not in the tv show, in doing it live,” he said. “You can only watch a movie, but to have young actors, singers and dancers play these characters in schools all over the world.

De Silva said the musical has been presented in Mandarin in Japan, in French in Paris, and on tour in Italy and Spain.

“The beauty of Fame is that everybody can get into the show,” he said. “If you play music, act, or want to dance – there’s a role for you. “

De Silva said when Fame opened in 1980, it got the attention of the world.

“Kids from all over New York could get into this magnet school for the performing arts,” he said. “If you were rich and your parents could afford piano and dance lessons, or if you were from very poor neighborhoods, you could get in.

“Years later, every major city has a performing arts school, and there are six in New York now. I think that’s a wonderful thing.”

The movie played on the Champs Elysees in Paris for almost a year, he said.

“Every weekend, they had kids out there with pickets saying ‘We want a school like this in France.’ It affected globally this idea that the performing arts could be part of your education.”

The Covington Arts Council will present the Gurtman and Murtha production at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Wed., Sept. 28, at the Martha and Solon Dixon Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of LBW Community College.

Tickets are available at Harold’s, and at the door.