Green Room produces musical ‘Fame’


Nadia Hernandez

Michaela Rodell and Richard Moung rehearse on the set in progress, memorizing songs, dances, and lines for their upcoming show.

This spring, Grayslake North Theatre Company will be producing a musical called “Fame.” It will be performed on March 9, 8, 10, 14, 15 and 16.

Over the two weekends, they expect to see a lot of people coming to see the show because of the love “Fame” has gotten in the past.

“‘Fame’, being about a performing arts high school, kind of has dance built in. It’s a different challenge because the students didn’t get any dance last year, so they are almost intimidated by having to dance,” said director Cher Schwartz.

Being full of dancing and singing is not only thing that is packed into this musical. It also shines a light onto many controversial topics that all teenagers go through at some point during their years. Topics include suicide, poverty and drug use as well as the normal pressures of school, relationships, and wanting to succeed.

“What I love the most about my role is that he is a very fun character to play. He’s a tough guy; he’s not a traditional dancer,” said junior Richard Moung.

Moung plays a character named Tyrone Jackson. Tyrone is a self taught dancer in the show who attends the art school in New York. The character also has his own solo song in the show as well as a couple of other characters.

“It’s just a very high energy show. Although it’s based in the ‘80s, some of the characters can come off as two dimensional. You can still make them your own, and it’s still just a fun, playful show,” said freshman Lillie Salas.

“Fame” has been made into an on-stage musical, a movie and even a TV show. The movie was shown in theaters on May 16, 1980. The TV show then aired two years after on January 7, 1982.

“I also just love the anthem of ‘Fame’, the ‘I Want to Live Forever’ song that you think of. Nothing is more danceable and upbeat and just makes me happier than that song. I think it’s that and the opportunity to blend different styles in one show that has me the most excited,” Schwartz said.

The show takes place over the four years of high school, 1980 to 1984. Throughout the show, viewers get to watch the whole cast grow together to find themselves. The show is made to reflect on real life high school experiences and how people grow and shape their future over time. Viewers get to see students succeed or fail due to their choices.

“My favorite thing about Green Room is everyone coming together and making an amazing performance and production through seeing everyone really get into their craft, and we just have a good time,” said sophomore Lauren Hunt.

Hunt plays a character named Mabel Washington. The character is also a dancer, but just like Tyron, she is described as not a typical dancer. She is described to not have the typical dancer body. Nevertheless, Hunt’s character does not let the way she looks discourage her or put a damper on her dreams.

“We have been working a lot on character. Anytime you’re doing a show with teenagers on being teenagers, it can be a little difficult to have some perspective there. But this show’s really fun. It’s got a great mix of characters. So we are playing it more with how you would react to something a teenager would say in a classroom and bring that realistically to the stage,” Schwartz said.