Get suited up, folks! Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, the new musical comedy The Prom officially opened on Broadway on November 15, 2018, following previews from October 23.
This exuberant, original musical has wowed both critics and audience members a like and has established itself as a theatre geek's dream! Packed with in-jokes about the Broadway theatre community and its colorful players, The Prom lovingly pokes fun at itself and the industry in general and is widely regarded as a love letter to Broadway. This element of the production is an added bonus for those in the know. For the more occasional theatregoer, The Prom offers up a universal message of love and breaking down barriers.
A high school student named Emma wants to take her girlfriend as her date to the prom at her local high school in Edgewater, Indiana, to the shock horror of the school's PTA members. She is therefore excluded from the celebrations and a motley crew of Broadway actors (desperate for some positive publicity) come rushing to her aid to fight a noble cause (albeit for self-centered motivations). In this simple premise, two worlds collide as Old School Broadway meets Middle America "High School Musical" in a clash of ideologies and cultures. These worlds are also brilliantly reflected in Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin's hybrid score which merges old school (numbers such as "Zazz" and "The Lady's Improving") with high school musical ("Tonight Belongs to You" and "Time to Dance") effortlessly. The latter numbers are also enhanced by Casey Nicholaw's signature, frenetic choreography in the hands (and feet) of this uber-talented ensemble.
Of course, the Indiana townsfolk learn a lesson in acceptance, but the Broadway veterans also learn a valuable lesson of their own... namely, that it isn't always about them! Sometimes the spotlight needs to be shone on the injustices of the world and The Prom is doing its bit to shine its own dazzling spotlight at the Longacre Theatre.
If you've ever felt like an outsider; if you've ever felt misunderstood or alone; or if you just can't get enough of an 11 o'clock number, then this Prom is one you really don't want to miss!
The world premiere production of The Prom was staged at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA, in 2016.
(Photos by Deen Van Meer)