7.7/10
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3 user 7 critic

The Road to Fame (2013)

China's top drama academy stages the American musical "Fame"-China's first official collaboration with Broadway-as the graduation showcase for its senior class. During the eight-month ... See full summary »

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China's top drama academy stages the American musical "Fame"-China's first official collaboration with Broadway-as the graduation showcase for its senior class. During the eight-month rehearsal, five students compete for roles, struggle with pressure from family and authority, and prepare to graduate into China's corrupt entertainment industry. Part of China's single-child generation, they were spoiled growing up but are now obliged to carry on the failed dreams of their parents. They must confront complex social realities and their own anxieties, and, in the process of staging "Fame," negotiate their own definitions of and paths to success in today's China. Written by Hao Wu

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12 June 2013 (UK)  »

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Fame in China  »

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Fame
Written by Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore
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Humanity
25 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

A stage version of Fame, as one of the first Western musicals performed in China, is taught to the graduating senior class of the Central Academy of Drama (Beijing) in about 2008 and filmed for a documentary released in 2013. Fame has been staged by native performers (with their languages) in most of the major countries of the world.

Could easily be five stars. Would like to have seen more background on the academy, the instructors and the students. I understand that there are budgetary, time, logistical and personal barriers to making it more complete. Also, for more accurate statistical reasons, would have liked to see the, several years later, outcomes for more of the A group and B group students we see involved in the Fame production.

What is so strikingly revealed in the film is the commonality across humanity of dreams, thoughts, behaviors, parenting, growing up. What is a little less obvious are some of the differences in cultures such as freedom of expression and individuality. Not meant as a value judgment as sacrifice, cooperation and obedience are also important values. Best illustrated in Jasper, the American musical director, who comes over to help instruct and seeing his personality interacting with the students (by the way he would make a great teacher of any subject).


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