Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Mica Paris. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Mica Paris. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Fame The Musical (UK Tour) | Press Launch

1980 musical theatre favourite, Fame opens in a new reincarnation which Keith Jack (Nick) says "feels like the iconic film and series which made Fame great" tomorrow (26th July) at the Manchester Palace Theatre, before continuing it's tour. Featuring memorable songs such as Think of Meryl Streep, There She Goes, I Want To Make Magic and of course the title song Fame, the musical tells the real-life version of breaking into the performing arts and confronts many of the struggles young adults face, "we're not here to sugar coat it" says Mica Paris

I was lucky enough to see the amazing cast in their penultimate day of rehearsals as they gave us a sneak peek into the show and whet out appetites for what's sure to be an energetic, thrilling show. 

Choreographer and director, Nick Winston introduced the show and set us up to hear and see a few numbers. First up a full-out rendition of There She Goes performed by Stephanie Rojas (Carmen) and the cast. From the first moment they began, the energy was infectious and it's genuinely thrilling to see such talent on stage, Rojas is feisty as the Latina who dreams of being famous and I already anticipate her performance as being outstanding. Also notable is the fact that there are a number of actor musicians featured throughout which add to the real life feel and really transports us to a vivacious theatre school. Jorgie Porter exclaimed how excited she is to be performing in her first musical and how "it's constant all the time", Keith added that Nick's aim with the show is to make it fast paced and to feel like New York in terms of being ever moving and full of verve.

Keith Jack gave a truthful rendition of I Want To Make Magic whilst Molly McGuire was hilarious as and lovable as Serena, it will be lovely to see their relationship play out on stage. When asked about the show Keith told us that it's so special because "the cast and director and the entire team have made this electric, buzzy show" and hopes audiences will "be able to relate to a certain character and latch onto to something in the story." 

Jamal Kane Crawford's performance of Dancing on the Sidewalk tired me out just watching! Full of energy he completely commanded the space. Alongside Mica Paris the pair create a realistic, but heightened portrayal of a student and teacher who are at odds. Paris' performance of These Are My Children left us all in awe at her effortless vocals. A lovely thing is how supportive the cast are of one another, all cheering each other on and embodying the family feel of being in school together, something which I think will definitely translate to the whole production. When chatting to Mica, Keith and Jorgie after the performance, this was even more evident and they all echoed that the team feel and talent of everyone is what makes the show so special for them. 

The title song of Fame features the iconic lyric "remember by name". When asked what they would like to be remembered for I was met with semi-silence as it's a pretty deep question but each person had a lovely, heartfelt answer. Jorgie would love to be remembered for "making a fun situation out of anything", Mica would like to be remembered for "showing anyone that no matter what people tell you, you can be what you want to be and you should do what you feel". Finally, Keith told us a lovely story about his grandad who consistently made people happy and how it inspired him to do workshops for people to try and make them happy; so he would like to be remembered for "bringing light to people... although I'll probably be remembered for being Scottish!"

Keith rounded off  with: "I think people will come to the show and get what they expect, plus even more" so if you want all the energy, excitement, romance and pure storytelling from Fame, plus even more then book your tickets for the 2018 UK tour.

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Friday, 13 September 2019

Fame The Musical, Peacock Theatre | Review

Fame the Musical
Peacock Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 12th September 2019 by Olivia Mitchell

Back in the West End after 12 years, Fame makes a triumphant return with Nick Winston's production. This 30th Anniversary edition has been touring since 2018 but is having a prolonged five-week stop at the Peacock Theatre. Featuring the classic songs such as There She Goes, Fame and Bring on Tomorrow, those who grew up with the musical will be taken back to their youths. However, whilst many original aspects are still part of the show, the stage version is less leg warmers and dancing on cars, and more grit, hard work and struggle.

Despite being set in the 80s, most aspects feel fresh, relevant and grounded in truth. Nick Winston's choreography helps the entire production fizzle and buzz like a well oiled New York subway, and the young cast perform each second with conviction and power.
As Iris, Jorgie Porter gives a great showcase of her sleek dance skills and has a great chemistry with love interest Tyrone (Jamal Crawford) who gives an equally strong dance performance and gains rapturous applause after his uber-octane performance of Dancing on the Sidewalk. In the storyline with his teacher Miss Sherman (Mica Paris) Crawford gives a truthful performance as he struggles to read but doesn't want to appear stupid or weak. The battle of wills between the pair is exciting to watch and really comes to a head with Mica Paris' vocally impeccable rendition of These Are My Children.
As the quirky actress Serena, Molly McGuire is warm and instantly likeable. Her relationship with Nick (Keith Jack), a tv actor, wanting to break into the more serious world of acting, is sweet and the pair compliment each other well. With Jacques Levy and Steve Margoshes' music and lyrics, there are some lovely moments, especially Lets Play a Love Scene.
The ensemble are tight from start to finish, performing the sharp choreography extremely well and providing moments of interest away from the main action throughout. Serina Matthews and Tom Mussell particularly catch the eye throughout. This cast is also comprised of various quadruple-threats. The host of amazing actor-musos who are present on stage throughout,  really transport us to a performing arts school, and help keep up the frenzied energy of working on your craft. Louisa Beadel is feisty as Lambchops and gives a brief but beautiful vocal performance in the closing number; Alexander Zane is light relief and a wonderful energy on stage. Simon Anthony is outstanding in his instrumental, vocal, acting and dance skills. Giving a very heartfelt and highly energetic performance, he is a stand out performer and works wonderfully with his love interest, Carmen.
As Carmen, it's Stephanie Rojas who is really the crown jewel of this production. Opening with a fiery, sassy performance, her decline and struggle is incredibly moving to watch. Rojas' sublime vocals, gritty acting and sharp movement really should put her Name in Lights across the West End. In a show which sometimes lacks character development, Rojas makes Carmen a truly 3D character and gives the performance all audience members will remember.
Prema Mehta's subtle but atmospheric lighting does a fantastic jobs of quite literally highlighting the crucial moments and moods of the piece. Perhaps most striking is the contrast between Carmen's opening number and closing number. In There She Goes/Fame there is a vibrancy which bathes the stage, whilst In LA is stark and simplistic. Morgan Large's set of yearbook photos, lockers and desks keeps the school vibes alive and allows most of the focus to be on the performers.
For a no gimmick show about the tenacity needed to succeed, Fame is a wonderful way to spend an evening and will certainly leave you dancing along the road (or wishing you had the skill to dance along the road)!
Fame runs at the Peacock Theatre until 19th October 2019 before continuing its tour.
photo credit: Alessia Chinazzo

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Five Reasons to see Fame on Tour

Last night I visited the New Wimbledon Theatre to see the current UK tour of cult classic, Fame! Having already seen the show and reviewing it here, I thought I'd switch it up a bit by bringing you my five reasons to see the, feel-good, high energy show.

Developed by David De Silva and telling the story of a group of aspiring performers, this production, which is celebrating the show's 30th anniversary is all you could wish for in Fame

So, Here She Goes with five reasons to see it...

The Emotions: Happy, sad, energetic, heartbreaking. Whatever sort of emotions you crave to feel, this show will have you feeling them. It's a un-sugarcoated look at being a performer and all that entails, and whilst it faces some ugly truths, it also reminds us of the importance of doing what you love and doing it with your whole heart. 

New York: I'm an absolute sucker for anything set in New York. Be it a rom-com, an opera, a book or a musical, there's just something inspiring about watching people succeed in such a harsh but opportunity filled city. The cast do a wonderful job of showing the pure grit and determination it takes to be victorious, and Morgan Large's set brings aspects of the city to life with ingenuity and style.

The History: The original Fame film debuted in 1980 to much acclaim and since then has amassed a big following over it's various incarnations. This history that people have with the show means there's something in this tour for everyone to enjoy and reminisce about, whilst people new to the story and show can also relate and enjoy it. It's not the leg-warmer filled film you might remember, but it has all the heart and drive.

The Cast: A musical wouldn't work without a cast, and this cast is superbly strong. As opposed to having a singular lead, a number of people helm the show and do so with triple threat greatness. Mica Paris' vocal performance is second to none and completely stuns the audience into ovation. Keith Jack and Molly McGuire are suitably dramatic as Nick and Serena as they navigate acting and romance, whilst Jorgie Porter gives a strong performance as Iris. Stephanie Rojas is outstanding as she not only gives a vocally flawless performance but also completely embodies Carmen on her journey from sassy, fiery Latina, to a battered girl, and creates a stunning and moving character arc. This is a largely ensemble led piece and the entire team come together to create a realistic performing arts school, complete with actor musicians and wonderful dancers.

The Music: If you're even the tiniest bit stagey, you'll know the title song, 'Fame' and it will no doubt invoke visions of raised arms and leg-warmers. Well the high octane, upbeat music does not stop there. The show is filled with fun musical numbers that feature various musical styles and influences, with Latin vibes in 'There She Goes' and gospel sounds in 'Mabel's Prayer' that all come together to create a catchy score that'll have you tapping your toes and dancing your way out of the theatre. Mica Paris' 'These Are My Children' is certainly one of the most vocally assured performances out there, whilst Stephanie Rojas gives everything she has in her heartbreaking but exceptional performance of 'In LA'.

For a fun evening that still tackles serious issues, Fame is the show to see. It's a melodramatic, no gimmick show that'll leave you dancing on the sidewalk and no doubt belting a number of two into your hairbrush when you get home!

Fame runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until 23rd February before continuing it's tour

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Fame the Musical (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Fame (UK Tour)
New Victoria Theatre 
Reviewed on Monday 1st October 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

Fame is the original high school musical drama. The story about a group of wannabe New York performers became an instant success with audiences after the 1980 film, and various incarnations including tv series and musical performances were spawned. Fame the Musical, developed by David De Silva, is currently touring again to celebrate it's 30th anniversary before a stint in the West End next year.

Fame the Musical follows the lives and struggles of students attending the New York High School of Performing Arts.  It is a real-life, non-sugar-coated version of being a young adult and facing issues, including substance abuse, sexuality and self worth.

From the opening number to the very last moment of toe-tapping brilliance, Nick Winston's production screams energy and vibrance. The entire show is a well choreographed, lively machine that, although being set in the 80s, feel fresh, relevant and energetic.

The energy comes from the outstanding young cast who deliver every moment with enthusiasm and precision. Molly McGuire is loveable and quirky as she falls in love with Nick (Keith Jack) the TV actor, wanting to move to more serious roles. Both performers provide beautiful vocals, especially during Let's Play a Love Scene in which Molly shines. The pair compliment each other wonderfully and present a sweet romantic arc. 

Hayley Johnston brings humour and heart to the show, with bubbly Mabel earning laughs throughout and showing off her killer, powerful vocals in Mabel's Prayer.  

Jorgie Porter shows off her well-honed dance skills as Iris who falls for Tyrone (Jamal Crawford), an equally exquisite dancer who gave a standout performance with Dancing on the Sidewalk. Tyrone also has a storyline with teacher Miss Sherman (Mica Paris) as she realises he is illiterate and tries to inspire him to work on himself. The pair are realistically at odds with one another as their heightened tensions come to a boil with Mica Paris' effortlessly stunning rendition of These Are My Children.

Mention must also go to the fantastic actor-musicians who are present on stage throughout and bring a natural, realistic feel to the show and transport us to a frenetic performing arts school- Alexander Zane is a standout of the group. 

The real star of the show is undoubtedly, Stephanie Rojas who gives a fiery performance as Carmen, the Latina who longs for fame. Stephanie is everything Carmen should be with her transition from a larger than life girl in There She Goes/Fame, to a broken woman in the devastating In LA supplying a supremely moving storyline. Stellar vocals and superb acting make Stephanie's performance a must see and should be required viewing for any budding performers.

On top of the impressive performances, Prema Mehta's lighting is extremely atmospheric from the opening scene which dazzles the audience to attention and sets the tone for an exhilarating show. Particularly clever is the use of light tones, for example in Carmen's emotional climax during act 2, she is bathed in cool, stark light whilst her counterpart Schlomo (played touchingly by Simon Anthony) is lit in a warm tone. These subtle details are part of what makes this production of Fame superior.

Whilst there are a number of stereotypes and other than a couple of the main characters, not much character development, this show is raw and pure storytelling, told by a supremely talented cast. Helped by Morgan Large's set, the focus of this production is purely on no gimmick talent, so, if you want to see skilled performers and hear highly catchy songs then Nick Winston's production of Fame is the show for you- don't miss it!

Fame runs at the New Victoria Theatre until October 5th before continuing it's tour and heading to the Peacock Theatre next year.

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Friday, 27 July 2018

Fame the Musical (UK Tour), Manchester Palace Theatre | Review

Fame the Musical (UK Tour)
Manchester Palace Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 26th July 2018 by Roni Hughes

Most will be familiar with one of the many iterations of the Fame franchise, be it one of the many television adaptations, the 2009 reboot film, or even simply Irene Cara’s catchy song of the same name. Originated by David De Silva with the 1980 film from Alan Parker which netted two Academy Awards and a Golden Globe, the idea sparked many spin offs, before opening as a stage musical in 1988 in Miami. The last professional production in the UK was for the 25th anniversary tour ending in 2014, and as the latest UK tour kicks off in Manchester, there is a real buzz around this classic.

Telling the tale of the New York High School for the Performing Arts and its students, the show does everything it says on the tin. It’s vibrant, sassy, fierce, and with just enough backstory for each character to allow the audience to emotionally invest in them. In an interesting move, the staging itself is kept simple, with the occasional dance barre and mirror or set of lockers, but is wonderfully complimented by the busy backdrop of ‘character’ headshots set out as a yearbook. It provides a nice nostalgic touch, and reminds us that we have been transported back to the early 80’s.

This tour features an exciting cast, headed up by former Hollyoaks actress and Dancing on Ice contestant Jorgie Porter in the role of top dance student Iris. For her first musical, Porter’s performance was lovely, and you cannot fault her beautiful ballet steps and dance sequences with love interest Tyrone, played by Jamal Kane Crawford. Iris, however, is very much a secondary character in Tyrone’s story, and, whilst not the fault of the performer, was slightly too overlooked for us to fully embrace Porter as a musical theatre actress. Crawford, however, gives a stunning insight in to what it means as a young man to be illiterate, which is emotional, yet mixed with light hearted and genuinely funny moments that makes Tyrone so relatable to today’s audiences.

Having a young and energetic cast is a breath of fresh air, and the energy was consistent and electric throughout the entire show. The choreography is slick and strong, however at times it feels a little too ambitious, and a few cast members are noticeably fighting to keep up. This doesnt detract too much from the overall fun, and the buzz is still tangible long in to the finale.

The stand out performance of the show must go to Stephanie Rojas as fiery Latina, Carmen. Her voice is second to none, with her buttery–toned riffs making it look easy. Her rendition of There She Goes/Fame is flawless, show-stopping, and leaves the audience begging for more. Notable mention too to the powerhouse that is Mica Paris for her phenomenal performance as home room teacher Miss Sherman, in particular her solo number These Are My Children. Never before have I witnessed a cast member receive a standing ovation mid-show, but my god was it deserved.

Overall, Fame is still the thrilling, joyous, slightly melodramatic story we’ve all come to know. The music is beautifully contrasted with love songs and ballads to full out dance numbers, and the audience is never bored. This is definitely one to catch for an entertaining night out that will leave you singing that song for days afterwards.

Fame runs at the Manchester Palace Theatre until 28th July before heading to the Kings Theatre Glasgow and then continuing it's tour.

photo credit: Tristram Kenton