Will Fame Fly?

Hey there…

I’m amused and interested in what the new Fame movie coming out September 25, 2009 has to offer. They just released a new trailer for the film this past week. It has a heck of a cast as teachers and students. But can it compete with the original? How does it compare with the series that ran in the 1980s?

Fame (film)
Image via Wikipedia

Both of my parents were involved in the theater in college, so from their passion for the stage – musicals, plays, and so on – I gained an appreciation for theater as well. I fondly recall seeing high school productions of shows like Camelot and Guys and Dolls as well as performing in The Music Man while growing up. And we of course watched the TV series for Fame. I didn’t see the actual movie until much later (it was deemed too adult for me at the time), but found it to be filled with amazing talent and great stories as well, even though it included some more mature elements than the television series did.

So when I heard that Fame was being remade, I have to admit I groaned a bit. Remake fever has hit Hollywood with a vengeance and nothing is sacred.

But I think, at least from early glimpses in the teaser and the trailer, I have hope. The cast has a ton of potential – Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles S. Dutton, and Debbie Allen to name a few. But in addition, as we are fans of the show So You think You Can Dance on FOX, I was encouraged to hear that dancer Kherington Payne was cast in a role.

In this era of High School Musical (I, II, and III) and the Disney machine, I have to wonder what changes will be made to modernize the story of the music and theater high school in New York. Can they make what’s old seem new again? I hope so.

If they can capture even half of the talent of the original movie or series, I’ll be surprised. There was a spark there that managed to inspire an entire generation of people to focus on the performance arts. Can we expect lightning to strike twice?

What do you think?
–Fitz

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