In Centreville High School's recent production of "Fame: The Musical," a talented cast of students ably portrayed the lives of high school students in New York City's High School of the Performing Arts.

Following a group of young people in the schools of dance, music and theater, "Fame" focuses on the students' relationships and their ambitions to become star performers.

Sarah Villyard was fantastic as the character Carmen, whether she was belting out her aspirations in the song "Fame" or effectively depicting a young girl plagued with a drug addiction. Mike Mohyla offered a nice contrast as the classically trained stage actor Nick.

Liz Killiam sang Serena's solos about unrequited love and acting method ("Let's Play a Love Scene" and "Think of Meryl Streep") with beautiful tone. Eric St. Peter served up an amusing, loud portrayal of Jose "Joe" Vegas, the class clown. As Mabel Washington, the dancer who needs to stay thin but can't resist vanilla pudding, Paige Williams also knew how to earn a laugh -- and deliver a song, especially "Mabel's Prayer."

The innovative set by Rick Mathews was functional. It was broken into three sections: a music rehearsal room, the main hall of the school that doubled as a variety of classrooms and a subway station. One problem, though, was the sound. Some lyrics were lost and some unexpected noises occurred, but the actors overcame the technical glitches.

The hard work that Centreville's cast put into their show was apparent -- many of the cast members could be bound for Fame!

Joey Thomas

Stonewall Jackson High School

If you've got that stardom gaze in your eyes and spunky 1980s style, then there was only one place to be one recent weekend: Centreville High School for its production of "Fame: The Musical."

"Fame" had something for everyone with its high school romances, catchy numbers, teen drama and upbeat showbiz hopefuls. The plot revolved around several intersecting story lines of students attending the High School of the Performing Arts in New York.

Sarah Villyard, as the saucy Carmen Diaz, graced the stage with her strong, powerful voice and emotional performance. Paige Williams, as the food-crazed dancer Mabel Washington, delivered a hilarious rendition of "Mabel's Prayer" in which she had a revelation of dropping dance and taking up acting so she could eat everything she saw.

Eric St. Peter, as the obnoxious and comical Joe Vegas, gave a lively performance in "Can't Keep It Cool," showcasing his quirkiness and wide range of facial expressions.

In a show with a company of more than 60 people, mustering energy seemed effortless.

Each number was executed with vigor and passion, and the pace of the show was steady and pleasurable. Songs featuring members of the "School of Dance" were one of the many strong points of the evening, especially in dances led by Khori Rogers and Kaelyn Arnold.

The set consisted of a large, open, split-level room, decorated with graffiti, callboards and lockers, which served as different locations throughout the school. Separate sets showing the entrance to a subway station and a practice music room were off to each side of the main stage. Costumes captured the flashy and colorful feel of the '80s.

Chris Miller

Chantilly High School

Centreville High's Khori Rogers, right, who leads several outstanding dance routines, sings during a dress rehearsal for the musical "Fame." Micky Devito is at left. Below, cast members rehearse on a split-level set that shows different areas of a New York performing-arts high school.