Their names in lights

BRAVO atudents show off talent with trio of hit shows

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What would happen if you combined the stage shows FAME, Chorus Line and Jungle Book? You'd get BRAVO's Summer Performing Arts Academy's new musical "StageStruck! and Café," opening this weekend at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, 325 S. Kenilworth Ave.

Performances take place Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the school's auditorium. On Friday night, students will perform a variety show featuring singing, dancing and skits by students.

Tina Reynolds, BRAVO's artistic director, came up with idea for the three-show musical.

The musical has the Brooks performers starting at the FAME school for the performing arts. They get word about auditions for the Broadway show Chorus Line. After securing their roles and performing, the FAME kids attend a performance of Jungle Book.

FAME, based on the 1980 movie about performing-arts high school students, was perfect for the older students, said Reynolds. Adding Chorus Line, based on the hit Broadway play, also seemed to fit well with them, said Reynolds.

"Then I thought Jungle Book would be great [for the 9-, 10- and 11-year-olds], but how do you tie it in?" she said. "The challenge every year is to find something that works for 70-90 kids."

Brooks student Jiana Odland, 13, will play the character of Coco from FAME, which was later adapted for the stage. Odland said she has enjoyed performing since first attending the camp three years ago.

"I really liked it because at my other camps you had cliques, and you saw a lot of people who didn't quite fit in, but everybody gets accepted here," she said.

For more information about the performance and ticket prices, call BRAVO at 524-5621.

?#34;Terry Dean

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