Queanbeyan Players have a winner in this dazzling production of "Fame", for which they've assembled an impressive cast of gifted young performers, backed by an excellent production team, to portray the trials and tribulations of young hopefuls attending the celebrated New York City High School of Performing Arts.
Thompsong Quan Wing has utilised every inch of the Q's stage for his clever multi-level set, successfully capturing the ambience of the run-down school. Raphael Wong's excellent band is accomodated in full view of the audience, and there's plenty of room for Jacquelyn Richard's frenetic dance routines, which the young cast attack with obvious relish and enthusiasm.
Drawing on all his experience and flair, director Stephen Pike coaxes strong performances from his young cast. Jaime Isfahani is compelling as the wilful, ill-fated Carmen Diaz. Peter Ricardo nails his laughs as the extrovert Joe Vegas, while Krystle Innes as the big voiced Mabel, Beth Deer as ballet dancer Iris, Jordan Kelly as street dancer Tyrone, and Joanna Richards and Bill Bouchier providing the romantic interest as Serena and Nick, all offer strong, confident performances.
Marie Le Brun, Berin Denham and Jonathan Garland effectively portray the teaching faculty, with Amy Fitzpatrick, as the authoritarian Miss Sherman, providing one of many highlights with her singing of "These Are My Children".
Attractive costuming and imaginative light and sound design add to the pleasures of this extraordinarily accomplished production.
An edited version of this review appears in the 27th May - 2nd June edition of "City News".