Ithaca, N.Y. — “Fame,” a musical described as “funny, sad, angry and heartrendingly beautiful,” will be performed from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18 at Ithaca’s State Theatre.

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The musical is produced by the youth theater group “Running to Places” and “deals honestly with issues of drug use and abuse, sexuality, and race,” a press release said.

“The show is about high school students pursuing their lives and passions,” said Joey Steinhagen, Running to Places’ artistic director, in the statement.

Cornell Vice President of University Relations, Joel Malina, who acted in the original pre-Broadway production of the musical, was involved in the new production and “motivated the cast to new heights,” according to a press release.

“Hearing him talk about what it was like to stage the original show gave the company extra inspiration,” Steinhagen said of Malina. “The production is full of incredible singing and passionate moments,” he said of the show.

The show will run only between Jan. 16 and Jan. 18; Friday and Saturday at 7 P.M. and Sunday at 2 P.M. Tickets are $15 on the day of the show, but advance tickets, on-sale now, are $13.

Tickets can be purchased at the State Theatre box office, by visiting www.stateofithaca.com, or by calling 607-277-8283.

Here’s the rest of a press release about the event:

Fame—the first show R2P ever did—was chosen for revival because it’s about teenagers discovering themselves as they pursue the arts, “which after all is what R2P is about,” says Steinhagen. “And Fame sends an important message, that R2P doesn’t offer typical high school fare. The show is challenging and complex.”

Like Fame, the rest of R2P’s 2015 season features challenging shows with strong female characters. “Daisy Pulls It Off,” the February production, is a Harry Potter-like adventure without the magic and with Hermione as the lead. “It’s the best show you never heard of,” says Steinhagen.

This is R2P’s first season with company participation entirely free. “It’s palpable to me that there’s a different energy with this show,” says Steinhagen. “There are lots of new kids who said they always wanted to do R2P but couldn’t because it wasn’t free. We’re really grateful to the community who is making the new tuition-free model possible.” Donations can be made online at www.runningtoplaces.org 

Purity Ice Cream is Fame’s exclusive sponsor. Scholarship sponsors, who help enable R2P to be tuition-free for all participants, are the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth, Squeaky Clean Car Wash, and an anonymous fund at the Community Foundation of Tompkins County. R2P also receives support from CSP Management, the Community Arts Partnership and the Park Foundation.

The show runs one weekend only: Jan. 16-18, Friday and Saturday at 7 PM, Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets are $15 the day of the show, $13 if purchased in advance, available at the State Theatre box office at 105 West Martin Luther King Jr. Street, by calling 607-277-8283, and at www.stateofithaca.com. More information at www.runningtoplaces.org.


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Kyle Friend

A senior at Cornell University, Kyle covers the affordable housing crisis for the Ithaca Voice. Reach him through e-mail: kyleafriend@gmail.com.