Last night, I sat down to watch The One Show on BBC1 without any idea what was going to be discussed. It’s often easy TV to have on in the background as I potter and do a few jobs around the house. However, last night, I suddenly heard the name ‘Valerie Landsburg’ mentioned. I turned around to look! Now, if you’re of a certain age and you’re into the whole performing arts thing, that name will ring a bell. It’s Doris from the all-singing, all-dancing 1980s TV show, Fame!!
After the film of the same name, Fame ran for 6 seasons from 1982 to 1987 so I was aged 10-15 when it was on and this was ‘stop what you’re doing and watch‘ kind of TV! It was about the lives of students and teachers at the High School of Performing Arts, New York. Lycra and leg warmers were very much the fashion and students would burst into impromptu song and dance sessions at any given moment! I had two vinyl albums of Fame music and the above picture is from one of the album covers. It was (and is???!!!) the type of music that you want to listen to when no-one else is in the house and prance around the lounge with the curtains firmly closed! In your head, you’re owning the stage, relishing the attention from being under the spotlight and you’ve never sung better in your life! And I think that’s what I loved about Fame. You could relate to the students. And being heavily involved in music productions at my local theatre, I got the whole thing about rehearsals, the buzz from putting on a show, etc. Along with Dallas, Fame was my childhood!
I loved the innocence of Doris Schwaltz played by Valerie Landsburg and I think every teenage girl fell head over heels in love with Danny Armatullo, played by Carlo Imperato! Then there ‘bad boy’ Leroy of the school who oozed attitude, played by Gene Anthony Ray. and pretty Holly by actress Cynthia Gibb. And the sensational singing voice of Erica Gimpel in her role as Coco…..wow!! And then you’ve got the staff with the fabulous Mr Shorofsky, Miss Sherman and the unforgettable Miss Grant played by Debbie Allen who told her students in the original film: “You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying…in sweat”. Ooh, and one of my favourite eipsodes was with Jimmy Osmond and the toe-tapping ‘Songs’ – I still love that song!
So, what was ‘Doris’ doing on The One Show? Well……. there’s going to be a reunion of the cast of Fame next May! You may not be going ‘aaagggghhhhh’ at this point but I might have screamed with delight when they announced this on TV and I quickly signed up for the newsletter so that I could get priority booking at 8pm last night, just 50 minutes after talking about it on TV. My eyes were glued on the clock, waiting for it to strike 8pm and then I ‘accidentally’ went for the best tickets available! You see, when you loved a TV programme so much and you are unbelievably excited to meet some of the cast, you don’t want to just turn up to a show where you’re in the back row. I’m sure hubby will fully understands my logic when he reads this blog later but you have to go for it. There are rules! Plus it’s to raise money for Claire House Children’s Hospice in Liverpool which is so brilliant. I’ve just checked the website and there really aren’t many tickets left at all! Wow! I’m clearly going to be in good company with like-minded people!
So, I’ll be going to TWO concerts up in Liverpool where I’m in the front row for one and the second row for the other. I get to SIT DOWN WITH THE CAST for a 4 course meal. I get to go to an after-show party with the cast until the early hours AND I get to go to their rehearsal!! I’ll be there for the weekend. I really can’t wait to meet everyone but I’m very excited about meeting Cynthia Gibb who played Karen in the extraordinary film ‘The Karen Carpenter Story’ (I’m a huge Carpenters fan!). She portrayed the singer perfectly. I really, really, really, really, really want to meet her!!!! This convention is on my bucket list – take a look here!
So, I really will be meeting my childhood heroes very soon. What about you? Have you met yours? Who would you like to meet?