The Prom / our review
HILARIOUS powerful Fabulous
Dec 10th, 2018
Changing Lives With The Prom
Fun Fact: Historians believe proms may have existed as early as the 19th Century!
Target Audience: Given the diversity of this score and the pure comedic joy this show is a big crowd pleaser for the young and old. You don't want to miss this one!
Best Bit: "Unruly Heart" by Caitlin Kinnunen (Emma) is a love letter to everyone out there who lives in shame and fear of being their true self. These lyrics are powerful and a testament to an incredibly supportive community.
Morning After Effect: Barry Glickman is a comedic genius and I want him to take me to the prom!
We live in a bizarre time, with people posting images and videos of their private moments and some going as far as posting videos of themselves getting physically hurt in the hope that they will become a viral sensation. If you're not gaining traction online or building "your brand", then why exactly are you online? And if you're not online, do you even exist? Such is the case in this brilliant new Musical The Prom where our leading characters play Broadway stars teetering on the edge of their careers after several nasty reviews are released. They start to panic and must think of a smart way to reinvent themselves so that they can align with the youth and gain popularity - and a positive image and perhaps even go viral! After a few bogus ideas they land on one - head to a small town in Indiana that's made news after banning same-sex couples to attend their prom, where they intend to right the wrongs! Voila, that will surely get them sensational media coverage for their good deed?
Brooks Ashmanskas (Barry Glickman) and Beth Leavel (Dee Dee Allen) are as thick as thieves in the lead roles, and their comedic timing is perfection. Their desperate narcissism as they clutch to their failing careers is painfully funny to watch! Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin's Book is hysterical and superb with a brilliant score by Beguelin and Mathew Skylar. The Prom captures the ludicrous mindset of our time with wickedly sharp wit and a fantastic score that crosses between two generations trying to find the same beat. The energy in this production is marvellous and will leave you with a belly ache from laughter!
Each character is juicy and brings a unique voice to the production. Despite the leading actors being all white, the entire cast represents the rich diversity of talent in New York and it feels so good to see this transition happening on Broadway. In a strange way, the casting mimics the narrative of youth rising up to tell our stories from a variety of voices. As we get to know all these characters we are reminded that no matter our age we all long for a sense of acceptance and love which should never compromise who you are. The Prom is sending a very clear message, just accept one another. The preachy song "Love Thy Neighbor" sums up this notion, it is very funny and sung superbly by Christopher Sieber (Trent Oliver) and the ensemble. Overall, the performances are very strong indeed and Casey Nicholaw (Director and Choreographer) has done it again, he is brilliant.
The Prom teaches us that when all is said and done we are simple creatures who find a deep sense of love and joy in sharing moments of difficulties and of delight. We place certain occasions on pedestals allowing little girls and boys to dream of what they will wear to their prom, wedding, or first job interview, knowing that those moments will be cherished for a lifetime. Looking ahead to these occasions gives us hope and connects us. Your moment that you share may make someone laugh or cry, or it may just inspire someone else to embrace themselves. If seeing a biracial lesbian couple on Broadway is the moment that gives you permission to be yourself in every sense, then yes, I would agree with Barry and Dee, theatre does indeed change (and save) lives! So, the question is, who will you take to The Prom?
View our show pages for more information about The Prom, Longacre Theater.