GALA Theatre concludes its 43rd season with the U.S. premiere of a bilingual version of the unforgettable FAME, The Musical. Conceived and developed by David De Silva, with book by Cuban writer José Fernández, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy, FAME is directed and choreographed by Luis Salgado. Salgado returns to GALA with the creative team from the theater’s hit production of In The Heights, which garnered nine 2018 Helen Hayes Awards. Foremost in that team is Music Director Walter “Bobby” McCoy, who will lead a nine piece band. The production will be performed in English and Spanish and will have subtitles in both languages.
Press Night is Saturday, May 11, 2019, under the gracious patronage of the His Excellency José Tomás Pérez, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the United States. The production is made possible in part with generous support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency for the National Endowment for the Arts, and Share Fund.
FAME, The Musical is based on the 1980 musical film of the same name, which premiered in 1988 in Miami, Florida. The show follows the highs and lows of the final class of New York City's illustrious High School for the Performing Arts from their freshman year to their graduation. Touching on complex issues such as racial prejudice, drug abuse, and sexual exploitation, it tells the story of several of the students, depicting their struggles, triumphs and tempestuous relationships as they explore the realities of striving for a career in show business. Salgado has added a nuance by incorporating the message of today’s DREAMers, Latinx immigrant students facing uncertain legal status in the U.S., into the unfolding of the characters.
“When Hugo Medrano, GALA founder and artistic producing director, approached me to direct FAME,” states director Salgado, “I knew it was a perfect project to follow our successful collaboration on In The Heights in 2016. The production honors José Fernández, a brave and daring Latino writer who lived under the radar and whose life sparks conversation about the Latin experience in musical theater. His life also mirrors the hopes and struggles of Dreamers today for a better future. So our adaptation questions what would happen if the FAME school was populated by a community of dreamers --- not just because of their artistic pursuits, but because of their nationality and immigration status in the United States. We are thrilled to re-imagine the possibilities raised by the question.”
FAME runs May 9 through June 9, 2019 at GALA Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010. Parking is available behind the theatre at the Giant Food garage on Park Road, NW for $4.