Fame (2010 China Tour)

Fame (China Tour)

FAME was developed by David De Silva.  Music by Lyrics by Steve Margoshes and Jacques Levy, Book by Jose Fernandez, with Orchestrations by Harold Wheeler and Steve Margoshes. Rehearsed and opened in Suzhou with first preview on December 18, 2009, then played Shanghai, Xi’an, Nanning, Wuhan, Fuzhou, Wuhan and finally Beijing, ending on February 9, 2010.

Produced by Phoenix Entertainment (Stephen B. Kane & Michael McFadden); Associate Produced by Mark Minnick.  Presented by Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment (Bob Nederlander, Jr. President, Toby Simkin, Executive Vice President & Executive Producer).

Directed by Michael McFadden, Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse and Mark Minnick, Sets Designed by Walt Spangler; Costumes Designed by Fabio Toblini; Lighting Designed by Mike Baldassari and Jeremy Wrable; Sound Designed by Craig Cassidy; Musical Supervision by Jasper Grant; China Tour Management by Toby Simkin; Production Management by Shawn Pennington and Scott Orlesky; Production Stage Management by Jinay Reitze; Touring Company Management by Arthur Callahan; China Associate Tour Management by 周其胜 Jacky Zhou and General Management by Lisa Mattia.

Starring Roberto Araujo (Joe Vegas); Caroline Bowman (Carmen Diaz); Courtney E. Brown (Ensemble Woman 4); Richard Evans (Mr. Scheinkopf); Jamieson Foreman (Schlomo Metzenbaum); Adam Grabau (Mr. Myers); Melissa Harres (Ensemble Woman 3); Amma Osei (Miss Esther Sherman); Dominique Johnson (Ensemble Man 3); Roddy Kennedy (Ensemble Man 2); Katie Keyser (Miss Greta Bell); Motique Korman (Ensemble Woman 1); Andrew Leggieri (Goody King); Justine Long (Serena Katz); Presilah Núñez (Ensemble Woman 2); Jake Odmark (Nick Piazza); Eric DysartJoNathan Michael (Tyrone Jackson); Ashli Rice (Mabel Washington (Sherman 2); Rachel Schur (Iris Kelly); Jonas Shumpert (Ensemble Man 1); Michael Warrell (Ensemble Man 4) and Dionysia Williams (Grace (Lambchops) Lamb)

Musicians included Alexander Rovang (Conductor / Keys); Bryan Connell (Reeds); Brian Grochowski (Bass); Andrew Hoesl (Trumpet/Flugel); Alex Jeun (Keys 2 / Trombone); Rob Murphrey (Drums); Wayne Trosclair (Guitar)

Understudies included Courtney E. Brown (Serena/Mabel); Adam Grabau (Sheinkopf); Melissa Harres (Iris); Dominique Johnson (Tyrone); Roddy Kennedy (Joe/Myers); Katie Keyser (Sherman); Motique Korman (Lambchops); Presilah Núñez (Carmen/Bell); Ashli Rice (Sherman 2); Jonas Shumpert (Goody); Michael Warrell (Nick/Schlomo) and Dionysia Williams (Serena 2)

Matt Bates (Head Carpenter); Addison Grist (Carpenter); Tim Dhority (Head Rigger/Flyman); Michael Bert (Head Electrician); Chris Nimm (Assistant Electrician); Rob Bass (Head Audio ); Shlayan (Audio Assistant); Darcy Engel (Head Props); Kim Lozan (Wardrobe / Hair Supervisor); 王宁 Wang Ning (China Technical Manager); 刘志勇 Liu Zhi Yong (China Technical Coordinator); 马全令 Ma Quan Ling [Larry] (China Head Electrician); 刘亚琴 Liu Ya Qin ( China Electrician / Followspot #2); 皮爱民 Pi Ai Min (China Electrician / Followspot #1); 邵凤立 Shao Feng Li (China Head Carpenter); 高海明 Gao Hai Ming (China Head Props); 聂福军 Nie Fu Jun (China Equipment / Floater); 陈文达 Chen Wen Da (China Equipment / Rigger); 徐爱东 Xu Ai Dong  (China Head Audio ); 刘飞 Liu Fei (China Audio ); 李鹂 Li Li (China Wardrobe/Hair ); Phil Qiu (Subtitles Developer); 李群 Li Qun [Rachel] (Subtitles / Interpreter); Vivian Yang (China Tour Consultant); 沈光宇 Gary Shen (Production Assistant / Interpreter);  颜文勇 Jones Yan (Assistant to Mr. Simkin); John Jiang (China trucking logistics); Lily Zhu (International trucking logistics); Alela Liu (China Booking Manager); Melissa Caolo (US NWE Production Manager); Leiley Zhang (US NWE Marketing Manager) and Junying Xu (Miranda) (US NWE Production Assistant / Translator).

Nederlander Worldwide EntertainmentAs Executive Producer & Senior Vice President of Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment LLC since 2000, a New York division of the Nederlander Organization charged with international development of theatrical markets, venues and shows.

Title Song “FAME” written by Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore.  Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing, Inc.  Originally produced at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Arnold Mittleman, Producing Artistic Director. Original North American Touring Production Directed by Bill Castellino. Fame The Musical was presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

FAME Notes

Although billed as “China Advisor” in the program put together a long time before the tour in New York, I was brought onboard the project a couple of weekends before commencement, and actually supervised and managed the entire China tour of FAME including routing (and re-routing), China staffing, presenter re-negotiation, marketing, company management, payroll, money collection, trucking, sets (and some costumes) refurb, physical production logistics, and was hands-on with the company for the entire tour.

Due to a very young cast, dealing with lost passports, mid tour cast change, monkey bites and some very wacky theatre regulations.

Toby Awards Trophy David da Silvatoby awards
In 2009, David da Silva was the recipient of a Toby Award.

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Many more (686) backstage photos on Flickr at:



A group of vibrant, energetic young people, African-American, white, Hispanic, rich and poor alike, converge on 46th Street to audition for the chance to study at the famous New York High School of Performing Arts. Praying they make “P.A.”, the students tear open a letter from the school, learn of their acceptance and begin a joyous dance of celebration.

On the first day of school, the freshman meet Miss Sherman, their English teacher, who warns them that it takes a lot more than dreams to succeed at “P.A.” The students, with a mixture of excitement, trepidation and raw energy, acknowledge that what it really takes to succeed is hard work.

Drama Class. Nick and Serena rehearse a scene and discuss their life experiences. Nick’s goal in life is to move people emotionally. Mr. Myers, the drama teacher asks his students to recall how a physical sensation can trigger an emotional response. Joe, a funny, uninhibited young man, graphically recounts the very personal reactions that occur whenever he thinks of a certain beautiful girl in dance class.

Dance Class. Tyrone, a sexy, streetwise African-American, is partnered with Iris, a very wealthy, classically-trained dancer. Iris obnoxiously derides Tyrone’s lack of classical dance experience. Tyrone, enraged at her comments, begins a rap which expresses his anger. Iris apologizes and, unexpectedly, kisses him passionately.

While Nick and Serena rehearse another scene, she tells him of her yearning to try something romantic and passionate. It becomes obvious Serena is in love with Nick. Nick, concerned only with acting, becomes upset and leaves. Heartbroken, Serena laments her unrequited love.

At lunch, Carmen, a self-assured, cocky Latina spitfire, dreams of seeing her name in lights and people gasping as she walks down the street. The other students join in her fantasy and begin an exciting, electrifying dance.

The hallway. Miss Sherman expresses concern over Tyrone’s care-free attitude towards education and threatens to keep him out of the Fall Festival if his grades don’t improve. Miss Bell overhears this and argues that Tyrone’s artistic talent is more important than his academic ability. As Tyrone threatens to drop out of school, the other students try to focus on the reason why they are really there.


After two arduous but rewarding years, the students now begin their junior year with the P.A. Fall Festival.

Dance rehearsal. Mabel, a bit overweight for a dancer but full of spunk and wit, complains about the water her body is retaining. In a hilarious yet touching turn, she prays aloud for God’s help in keeping her from becoming “the world’s fattest dancer”.

The scene shifts. Serena enters to see Carmen and Nick kissing. Heartbroken once again, Serena tearfully remembers one of the first lessons she learned at P.A. and tries to channel her emotions into her acting.

Carmen confronts Schlomo with her plan to leave school and go to Los Angeles. She has met a Hollywood agent named Elliot Greene, who is sending her a plane ticket. Schlomo begs her not to go. He has seen her get into Elliot’s limousine outside of school before and accuses her of using cocaine with him. Schlomo tells Carmen he loves her, but when he realizes he is powerless to stop her, he turns his attention to his violin.

In Miss Sherman’s English class, Tyrone is spotted reading a Superman comic book. Miss Sherman confronts him by forcing him to stand up in front of the class and read from the comic book. Embarrassed, he accuses her of trying to make him look stupid: “Wanna fail me again? Go ahead. I’ll pass in summer school, bitch.” Miss Sherman gives him a resounding slap in the face and walks off. Defensively, Tyrone says to his shocked classmates he doesn’t need her help. “I’m choreographin’ my own life.” This leads to his fantasy dance number, “Dancin’ on the Sidewalk.” Confronting his pain and frustration, Tyrone goes to the blackboard, writes “I Will Read,” and runs off. Miss Sherman enters, sees what he has written, and is deeply touched.

A baroque trumpet-call sounds as the drama students rehearse Romeo and Juliet. Joe, insecure playing Romeo, has been ad-libbing. Serena pleads with him to be serious in the part. Nick offers to show him how to play Romeo and winds up kissing Serena in their first romantic moment. Tyrone asks Iris why she has been avoiding him all year. She says she doesn’t want to be tied to a loser. He takes out a copy of Leaves of Grass and reads to her, showing her he has a whole new attitude about learning. They dance a pas de deux.

Mr. Sheinkopf, Mr. Myer and Miss Sherman confront Miss Bell about influencing a summer school teacher to pass Tyrone even though he never showed up. They insist he must repeat the year. But the Dance Theatre of Harlem is ready to take him, says Miss Bell. “Let them wait!” says Mr. Sheinkopf. Miss Bell, left alone with Miss Sherman, finally admits she may be losing her perspective and suggests she take a sabbatical.

Carmen is standing in front of the school looking physically wasted and disoriented. She spots Schlomo and after a warm embrace, she tells him the truth about her experiences in Hollywood. Carmen promises him she is going to go for her equivalency diploma, but right now she needs money. He gives her a couple of dollars and sadly departs.

At the farewell party, everyone is dressed up and the celebration is loud and festive. Tyrone tells Miss Sherman he is going to repeat his senior year and give her another chance to whip him into shape. Joe announces not only is Lambchops finally wearing a dress, but he is going to be opening at a comedy club – and they’d all better be there. Serena is on her way to Brooklyn College and Nick is headed for Yale. They wonder about their future together.

Musical Numbers

Act One

  • Pray I Make P.A. …. Students
  • Hard Work …. Company
  • I Want to Make Magic …. Nick
  • Can’t Keep It Down …. Joe and Students
  • Tyrone’s Rap …. Tyrone
  • There She Goes! …. Carmen and Students
  • Fame …. Carmen and Students
  • Let’s Play a Love Scene …. Serena
  • Bring on Tomorrow …. Schlomo and Carmen
  • Teachers’ Argument, The …. Miss Bell and Miss Sherman
  • Hard Work (Reprise) …. Students

Act Two

  • The Junior Festival …. Students
  • Think of Meryl Streep …. Serena
  • Mabel’s Prayer …. Mabel and Girls
  • Dancin’ on the Sidewalk …. Tyrone and Students
  • These Are My Children …. Miss Sherman
  • Pas-de-Deux, The …. Tyrone and Iris
  • In L.A. …. Carmen
  • Let’s Play a Love Scene (Reprise) …. Nick and Serena
  • Bring on Tomorrow (Reprise) …. Company

Character breakdown

  • Carmen Diaz – A sexy and confident, but cocky, dancer with a big ego. Carmen is determined to make it big and is obsessed with the idea of fame, nearly to a fault. – Female, 15-20 yrs old ( Range: A3 – F5)
  • Nick Piazza – Ambitious, enthusiastic, classical actor who is very serious about his craft. He holds a hidden romantic interest for Serena. – Male, 15-20 yrs old (Range: A2 – G4)
  • Schlomo Metzenbaum – A classical violinist who starts a rock band. He is fed up from the strain of his famous violinist father’s expectations. He is very wise and academically clever. – Male, 15-20 yrs old (Range: C3 – F4)
  • Tyrone Jackson – A talented but dyslexic hip hop dancer who comes from a poor background. Shares a difficult relationship with Iris. – Male, 15-20 yrs old (Range: D3 – Bb4)
  • Goodman King – A musician who is in Schlomo’s band. He is believed to be Schlomo’s best friend. – Male, 15-20 yrs old ( Range: F3 – G#4)
  • Grace Lamb (Lambchops) – loud, confrontational rock chick and tomboy who plays the drums for Schlomo’s band. She often loses her temper and it is implied that she does not take school seriously. – Female, 15-20 yrs old ( Range: A3 – B4)
  • Iris Kelly – A very talented, graceful ballet dancer who often comes across as snobbish and mean because of her insecurities with herself. She shares a difficult relationship with Tyrone. Female, 15-20 yrs old ( Range: D4 – F5)
  • Joe Vegas – An acting student. Loud, funny, and comical. He develops a crush on Carmen. – Male, 15-20 yrs old ( Range: C3 – C5)
  • Mabel Washington – A loud and overweight dancer and singer who is desperate to shed the pounds but can’t resist food. Often speaks her mind and gives out advice to others in their times of trouble. – Female, 15-20 yrs old ( Range: D4 – E5)
  • Miss Esther Sherman – A strict, old-fashioned English teacher who loves her students despite the fact that she comes down hard on them. – Female, 30-50 yrs old ( Range: F3 – E5)
  • Miss Greta Bell – A dance teacher with a passion for different styles of dance. Believes that dance is a way of life and is very protective of her students. – Female, 35-50 yrs old ( Range: A3 – E5)
  • Mr. Myers – A laid back drama teacher with an obsession for human psychology. – Male, 35-50 yrs old (Speaking Role)
  • Mr. Sheinkopf – European Music tutor with a love for classical music and dislike for all things rock and roll. –
    Male, 35-50 yrs old (Speaking Role)
  • Serena Katz – A shy and timid, yet keen and enthusiastic actress. She is attracted to Nick. – Female, 15-20 yrs old (Range: G#3 – Eb5)
  • Ensemble – STUDENTS

Other FAME productions in which I was involved

FAME in Mandarin (Beijing)

Mandarin language in Beijing


US & Canada National Tour

For fun, here is my parody of FAME from early 2020


See about 100 more of my Broadway parodies

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