Show History



Fame The Musical is a stage adaptation of the 1980 musical film, Fame.  It was conceived and developed by David De Silva and features a book by José Fernandez, music by Steve Margoshes and lyrics by Jacques Levy.  Fame and all of its iterations (including the 1982 television series) are based on the real-life High School for the Performing Arts in New York.  De Silva had no connection to the institute, but was fascinated by both its students and teachers.  As a result, he produced the original film, along with the musical and all of its adaptations.  However, although the musical's script uses the same location and makes several allusions to the film, it utilizes completely different characters, plot lines and songs.


Fame The Musical came to be at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida, in 1988.  The musical then moved up north for a run at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia from March 25, to April 29, 1989.  In January 1993, it made its European debut in Stockholm, Sweden, with a large-scale production that ran fornearly four years.  The booming success in Sweden prompted many subsequent international productions, including the musical's West End debut in 1995. Fame The Musical has seen large returns in the UK, prompting West End revivals in 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007, along with national tours in 1996, 2000, 2007 and 2014.

After two US tours in 1997 and 1999, Fame The Musical finally moved to New York.  The show had its Off-Broadway debut on November 11, 2003, at the Little Shubert Theatre.  It was titled Fame on 42nd Street after the theatre's location, and ran through June 27, 2004.  Shortly before opening, Phoenix Theatricals launched another 100-city tour in September 2003.  Over the years, the musical has only bloomed even more internationally, with productions in almost 25 countries, including Ireland, Australia, Japan, Germany and South Africa.

Cultural Influence

  • Fame The Musical has been translated into a number of languages, including Portuguese, Greek and Mandarin.
  • A reality TV show was produced in Ireland, with young hopefuls competing for two of the roles in a production of Fame The Musical.  A Dutch talent search competition called "De Weg Naar Fame" did something very similar, with people competing to play the roles of Schlomo, Serena, Mabel and Tyrone on the 2008 Dutch tour.
  • The success of Fame The Musical gave creator, David De Silva, the idea to conceive more adaptations. In 2007, he premiered a sequel titled Fame Forever – Talent Springs Eternal.  In September 2011, MTI produced a 60-minute version called Fame JR. for middle school students.


  • The original West End production of Fame The Musical was nominated for three Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical and Best New Choreographer.
  • Celebrities that have starred in Fame The Musical include: Harold Perrineau Jr., Barbara Dickson, Sheila Ferguson, Nicole Leach, Miguel Ayesa, Kim-Lian van der Meij,Tener Brown, Noel Sullivan, Rolf Roosalu, Ian Watkins, Nat Sakdatorn, Eunhyuk, Tiffany and Son Hoyoung.
  • There have been more than 4,000 performances from 300 productions in 16 countries of Fame The Musical.
  • For his work in developing the film, television series and musical of Fame, David De Silva is known affectionately worldwide as "Father Fame."
  • The original High School for the Performing Arts (on which the show is based) boasts a strong list of graduates, including Jennifer Aniston, Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino, Suzanne Vega and Eartha Kitt.