Fame The Musical was Ireland’s largest ever musical theatre search to find the characters of Nick and Serena for the musical version of the renowned movie and TV Series, Fame. Fame The Musical was one of the country’s most ambitious tours of a West End production to date and its first run was in the spectacular new Grand Canal Theatre.
Fame The Musical, the TV auditions, was hosted by Derek Mooney and leading the search was; stage producer Robert C Kelly, actor and director, Simon Delaney and one of Ireland’s most talented musical theatre exports, Jacinta Whyte. Their hunt took them to Dublin, Cork and the heart of the West End in London, where budding performers showcased their talent.
The judges were looking for ‘triple threats’ to take on the challenging roles of Nick and Serena, so it was vital that the finalists could sing, dance and act. After the auditions, successful candidates enrolled in ‘Fame School’, an intense workshop phase where performers were put through their paces.
On the final day of Fame School the judges had the hard task of selecting the top six boys and top six girls who would go through to the 8 live shows in the Helix, where the public and the judges decided who continued in the competition. Robert C Kelly and Simon Delaney were joined on the judging panel by internationally acclaimed actress, singer and song writer Erica Gimpel, recognised the world over for her role as “Coco Hernandez” in the original hit television series FAME. Of the 12 young hopefuls who made it to the Helix, only one boy would win the part of Nick and only one girl would become Serena, and take pride of place in the nationwide tour of Fame The Musical.
Dublin born Jacinta Whyte started her career playing the title role in the original production of Annie at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London and the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.
She continued her West End career by staring as Linda in Blood Brothers, Ellen in Miss Saigon, and Eponine in Les Miserables, a role she also played at the Point Theatre in Dublin. Jacinta has toured the UK with stage productions of Aspects of Love where she played Giuiletta, and Grease as the character Rizzo. During her performing career she has also appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Melbourne Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Royal Philharmonic of Flanders, Ulster Orchestra, Royal Scottish National and BBC Concert Orchestra to name but a few.
She currently lives in London and is a regular guest on BBC Radio 2 programme Friday Night Is Music Night with the BBC Concert Orchestra. She has worked extensively for RTÉ Radio & Television including her own early 90’s TV series, Jacinta.
Jacinta is excited about embarking on the search for the characters of Nick and Serena in Fame The Musical, perhaps giving a young performer the chance to follow in her own very successful footsteps.
Robert C Kelly has over 25 years of experience producing plays, musicals, concerts and pantomimes. He has presented artistes as diverse as Elaine Paige, Jane McDonald, Joe Longthorne, Elkie Brookes, Danny la Rue, Bobby Davro, Lena Martell, Dean Park, Andy Stewart, Keith Harris and Orville, Gary Wilmot and The Nolans.
Robert has produced and co-produced many plays and musicals including “Menopause The Musical”, Olivier Award Winning “Defending the Caveman”, Pam Gem’s “Piaf”, nine productions (including a West End run) of the comedy “Mum’s the Word”, the musical comedy “Always Patsy Cline” (UK and Australia) and many more. His company has also recently produced some brand new shows including sensational concerts, “The Piano Men” and “The Music of Dirty Dancing”.
Over the past 5 years Robert has produced many shows in Ireland including a 22 week Dublin season and 10 week Irish tour of “Menopause The Musical”, a 10 week season of “Strictly The Rat Pack”, the European premiere of “The Blues Brothers Revival” and 2 Dublin seasons and an Irish tour of “The Gruffalo”. He has also produced 5 Irish tours of “Dirty Dusting”.
In 2010 Robert will produce the premiere of the off Broadway hit “My First Time”, the final Irish tour of “Menopause The Musical”, and a second tour of “Strictly The Rat Pack” with a West End cast at The Gaiety Theatre in Dublin before touring Ireland.
Robert’s biggest production of 2010 is set to be a brand new production of “Fame The Musical” In Dublin’s newest theatre, the Grand Canal Theatre.
More then anyone, Robert cares about casting the right talent for the right role. Through ‘Fame The Musical’, he is hoping to find the brightest new musical theatre stars to become his new Nick and Serena.
Erica Gimpel received international acclaim for her performance as “Coco Hernandez” in the hit television series FAME. Since that time she has appeared in dozens of feature films and television shows. Amongst her numerous television roles she played social worker Adele Nueman in six seasons of the Emmy Award-winning series, ER. Her most recent television credits include the Golden Globe winning series Grey’s Anatomy and House. She also has a recurring role on the awarding-winning Boston Legal and Veronica Mars.
Her numerous film credits have seen her star along side the likes of Oscar-Nominee Ruby Dee, Academy Award-winners Forest Whitaker, Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren. Erica has just completed shooting the independent films Blue Eyes in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and Veronika Decides To Die based on the life-affirming book by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.
While balancing a full acting career Erica is also a singer/songwriter blending the styles of Jazz, Pop and Alternative. Her album Spread Your Wings and Fly has just been released in America. Erica is also an active member of the world peace organization, The SGI-USA.
Simon is best known for his portrayal of the hapless barrister, Michael in RTÉ award-winning comedy drama, Bachelors Walk, for which he received two Irish Film and Television Best Actor nominations.
Most recently, Simon appeared in Val Falvey T.D on RTÉ and Fathers & Sons for ITV. He is currently starting in the Young Peoples series Roy where he plays Bill, father of cartoon son Roy on both RTE and CBBC. Simon has also graced the silver screen in memorable Irish movies such as Intermission, Spin the Bottle, The Halo Effect and most recently, he played the lead role of Liam Murphy in Zonad.
Simon has a deep passion for musical theatre and has starred in and directed many plays and musicals over the last ten years. In 2004 he made his West End debut in Marie Jones’ comedy, Stones in his Pockets, a role he recently reprised for a national tour and a run at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin.
Some of his other musical theatre credits include The Blues Brothers (Jake), The Irish premier of The Full Monty (Dave), 42nd Street (Julian Marsh), The World premier of The Wiremen (Tommo), Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit) and The Hired Man (Isaac Tallentire).
Directing credits include Cinderella, The Full Monty, Westside Story, Sweet Charity, Honk, Oliver, Cabaret and The Hot Mikado.
|Grand Canal Theatre||Fri 20th Aug – Sun 12th Sept 2010|
|Royal Castlebar Theatre & Event Centre||Tues 14th Sep – Sun 19th Sept 2010|
|Opera House, Belfast||Tues 21st Sept – Sun 26th Sept 2010|
|Cork Opera House||Tues 28th Sept – Sun 10th Oct 2010|
|Millennium Forum Theatre & Conference Centre||Tues 12th Oct – Sun 17th Oct 2010|
|INEC, Killarney||Tues 19th Oct – Sun 24th Oct 2010|
|UCH, Limerick||Tues 26th Oct – Sun 31st Oct 2010|
|Town Hall Theatre, Galway||Tues 2nd Nov – Sun 7th Nov 2010|
|Wexford Opera House||Tues 9th Nov – Sun 14th Nov 2010|