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Kids from FAME reunite for Italy show

Dec. 5 marked an Italian reunion of sorts for the actors from the 80’s hit TV show FAME.

Erica Gimpel, Nia Peeples, Carlos Imperato, Lee Curreri, and others performed together for the first time since 2011 at the Teatro Nuovo Salsmoggiore Terme in Northern Italy. Proceeds from the show were donated to the children’s charity Ger Onlus.

MMA Crossfire Vault: A conversation with Erica Gimpel

MMA Crossfire Vault: Erica Gimpel talks life, love and loss

A previous reunion concert was held in 2011 at Parma.

Poetry, music and theatre will be intertwined.

The list of actors include:

Carlos Imperato – played “Danny Amatullo”

Erica Gimpel – played “Coco Hernandez”

Lee Curreri – played “Bruno Martelli”

Valerie Landsburg – played “Doris Schwartz”

Cynthia Gibb – played  “Holly Laird”

Nia Peeples – played “Nicole Chapman”

Jesse Borrego – played “Jesse Valesquez”

The band Disco Inferno, who performed at the Parma Show, will also appear.

As expected, many of the classic FAME songs were covered with a tribute to deceased member Gene Anthony Ray.

Here is a listing, courtesy of the Kids from FAME media Facebook page:

eVolution Dance Theatre performed 2 Dance numbers

“I Still Believe In Me” – Erica (Lee on Piano)

Narrator Marco Caronna introduces Lee – Cast Introductions

“Starmaker” – Erica, Cynthia, Nia, Jesse, Valerie, Carlo & Lee
“Beautiful Dreamer” – Valerie (Lee on Piano)

“Could We Be Magic Like You” – Lee, Erica & Valerie

“Higher Ground” – Jesse & Nia

“Footloose” – Cynthia (Nia, Jesse, Valerie dancing)

“One is the loneliest Number” eVolution Dance Theatre

“Fame” – Erica, Cynthia, Nia, Jesse & Carlo (Lee on Piano)

Monologue read by Valerie  

“Never Never” – Valerie 

“Ah Che Sara” Marco Caronna & Disco Inferno 

“Love Stays” – Erica  

“Life is a Celebration” Erica & Carlo (Valerie on Backing Vocals)

Monologue performed by Carlo 

“Man In The Mirror” – Nia, Erica, Carlo, Jesse, Cynthia, & Valerie

“Tomorrow Morning” – Nia, Cynthia & Jesse 

“The World” – Jesse 

“Never Out Run The Night” – Nia 

“Long Train Running” – Nia (her son Chris Hayzel on guitar)

“Stairway to Heaven” – Nia, Erica, Carlo, Jesse, Cynthia & Valerie (Tribute to Gene Anthony Ray)

“One” Nia, Erica, Carlo, Jesse & Cynthia ( Val guitar, Lee Piano) 


“Starmaker” Erica, Cynthia, Nia, Jesse, Valerie, Carlo & Lee 

“Fame” – Erica, Cynthia, Nia, Jesse, Valerie, Carlo & Lee

In a 2012 interview with The Crossfire, Gimpel recalled the Italy experience:

In November 2011 I was asked to go to Parma, Italy to perform in a benefit concert that would be raising money for families in Italy who were having a hard time affording groceries and also for an orphanage in India. The benefit concert grew into a show that was called the ‘Box of Dreams’. I was flown to Italy where I met up with Nia Peeples, Jesse Borrego and Cynthia Gibb and we had an incredible time!

We sang some of the old fame songs like Starmaker and of course FAME and I also sang two songs from my CD, Love will Come Back to Me and Spread Your Wings. What was so surprising to me was how much the Fame songs were still loved and what warm reception we were met with. I sang one of the songs from Fame that happened to be my favorite I Still Believe in Me and was so surprised to look out into the audience during the night of the concert to see women singing along with me with tears in their eyes as if the song has become their own personal anthem. Also the band that was backing us up, Disco Inferno, had studied the songs from my CD so by the time we got to rehearsal they had all the harmonies worked out. It was wonderful collaborating with them.

“La Scatola Dei Sogni” [Erica Gimpel’s Official Clip]Dallo show “LA SCATOLA DEI SOGNI” svoltosi il 25 Novembre 2011 insieme al cast del telefilm americano “FAME – SARANNO FAMOSI” presso l”Auditorium Paganini di Parma, un breve estratto interamente dedicato ad alcune performances realizzate con Erica Gimpel (alias “Coco Hernandez”, nel telefilm).[Questo clip video è stato realizzato ed ufficialmente divulgato da Erica Gimpel stessa; è visionabile anche sulla pagina]

Posted by DiscoInferno on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The narration of the show was in Italian so I couldn’t understand a lot of it but at one point during the show an actor read a Pablo Neruda poem. Now during a rehearsal, this actor overheard me playing one of my instrumentals on the piano entitled Joyce’s Serenade and he asked me if I would accompany his reading with my song, and we were communicating in broken English and the few words I knew in Italian but somehow we got to understand each other and of course I said Yes! And then all at once it dawned on me I was collaborating beyond languages, through music and poetry we came together. That was a special moment for me.

I think what summed up the experience was when the producer of the whole event Stefano said in his Italian/English the reason he likes to create projects like this is because he likes to share love with people. That’s what the Parma experience was, an experience from the heart. I am filled with gratitude when I can fill my life with moments like that!

Tickets are 30 Euros, 25, Euros, and 20 Euros with discounts for people under 25, over 65 and the disabled.

People from the United Kingdom can use the banking swift code: POCIITM1.

More information is available at the Kids from FAME Facebook page.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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