“Sparkle” tells the rags-to-riches (and rags again, for some of the characters) tale of three sisters with gorgeous voices. There’s Sister (Lonette McKee), Sparkle (Irene Cara, Fame), and Delores (Dwan Smith), who team up with a couple of players (including a very young Philip Michael Thomas, pre-Miami Vice) to form a singing group.

January 6, 2000

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“Fame–The Musical”

“You must be in touch with your emotions if you expect to touch others,” a teacher says early on in “Fame–the Musical.” Too bad the writers of the play didn’t follow this advice. The play, which opened Tuesday night at the Chicago Theatre, wasn’t much of an improvement from the production that rolled into town last year. Full of cliches and stereotypes, the musical lacked memorable, well, music.