'Fame' chooses five

Will fill out administrative, teaching parts

Megan Mullally, Kelsey Grammer, Charles S. Dutton, Bebe Neuwirth and Debbie Allen have been tenured.

The quintet has been chosen to fill out the administrative and teaching roles in MGM and Lakeshore Entertainment's remake of "Fame." Choreographer Kevin Tancharoen will direct the reinvention of the 1980 musical about a group of dancers, singers, actors and artists trying to survive four gruel¬ing years at the prestigious New York City High School of Performing Arts.

Allison Burnett and Aline Brosh McKenna wrote the updated screenplay.

Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg of Lakeshore are producing the $25 million project along with Mark Canton; vp production Becky Sloviter is overseeing the film, which has scheduled a Sept. 25 release date, for the studio.

"This picture is a celebration, a testament to people pursuing their dreams, so we set out to find talented actors who could both convincingly instruct onscreen and also inspire audiences," MGM Worldwide Motion Picture Group chairman Mary Parent said.

All five actors have noteworthy performing arts backgrounds. Mullally, who will play a voice instructor, graduated from the School of American Ballet; Grammer, who will play an orchestra conductor, attended Juilliard; Dutton, who will play an acting teacher, went to the Yale School of Drama; and Neuwirth, who will play a dance teacher, has won two Tonys.

And Allen, who played dance teacher Lydia Grant in the original film, will appear in the updated version as Principal Simms.

"This dynamic group of actors all have esteemed backgrounds in the performing arts," Rosenberg said. "They will give 'Fame' the authenticity and energy it deserves."

The student cast includes Kristy Flores, Paul Iacono, Paul McGill, Naturi Naughton and Kay Panabaker.

Mullally is represented by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment. Grammer is repped by CAA. Dutton is repped by Paradigm and Marsh Entertainment. Neuwirth is repped by ICM. Allen is repped by Paradigm.