‘Fame Jr.’ a trip back in time

Reviewed by Hollyann Gardner
Times-News correspondent

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Makayla Micheo rehearses a dance number in Studio 1's "Fame Jr." [Tami Kress / Special to the Times-News

Studio 1′s “Fame Jr.” is a show that all ages will enjoy.
Kids will not only love the upbeat dance numbers and storyline, but parents will especially enjoy a trip down memory lane with the 1980s music, costumes and movement this show provides. From strong characters with emotional backstories to the energetic ensemble, this show — performed by local youth ages 10 to 16 — will not disappoint.
“Fame Jr.” is a story about high school students attending performing arts school in the early ’80s. They are desperate to make it in the tough world of acting, music and dance, all while dealing with their own personal problems.
Nick Piazza (Sam McDonald) and Serena Katz (Lauren Keimig) are a duo of young actors audiences will grow to adore. McDonald showcases honest emotions both in his dialogue and his solo ballad, “I Wanna Make Magic.” Keimig’s sweet singing voice in “Let’s Play a Love Scene” and her take on Serena’s lovable personality balance wonderfully with McDonald.
Olivia Knighten (Carmen Diaz) is amazing to watch in her over-the-top dance number, “There She Goes.” She is not only a talented dancer and singer, but also perfectly encapsulates Carmen’s sassy attitude.
Other stand-out performances include Joshua Leiser as Schlomo Metzenbaum; Nico Cachafeiro as Joe Vegas; Max McDonald as Tyler Jackson; Eleanor Arcaro-Burbridge as Iris Kelly; and Nevy Fisher as Mabel Washington. Each actor has a unique personality and difficulties to battle that these kids portray beautifully, working together as a team to create a story that many young performers in the audience will relate to.
For being put together during a summer camp in only two weeks, “Fame Jr.” is undoubtedly an impressive production. It’s a trip back in time you don’t want to miss.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Sara McMillan Brown Theatre at Studio 1, Holly Hill Mall and Business Center, 309 Huffman Mill Rd., Burlington. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com. For more details, call 336-534-0321.

Hollyann Gardner is a rising high school senior at Alamance Community College and a Teens & 20s writer.

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