Everyone Deserves Love And To Go To The Prom!
What happens when you get four narcissist has-been Broadway stars together on a mission to get some positive PR? Much hilarity! This is the premise of Broadway’s The Prom. Sure there is a Prom, and they try to help a young lesbian fight her school’s PTA so that she can bring her girlfriend to prom, but the real story and the real stars are Dee Dee Allen (played by Beth Leavel), Barry Glickman (played by Brooks Ashmanskas), Alyssa (played by Isabelle McCalla), and Trent Oliver (played by Christopher Sieber).
This set of eclectic creatives, otherwise known as “liberal democrats from Broadway”, realize that their popularity has decreased as their egos have inflated, and the only way to get back on top is to find a cause they can help tackle, some positive PR. I mean, all the celebrities are doing it!
However, they don’t want anything too hard. So, they do the equivalent of Russian roulette and choose the first easy issue they find on Twitter: a school’s PTA in Indiana refusing to let a young lesbian, Emma (played by Caitlin Kinnunen) take her girlfriend to prom. Without bothering to learn anything else, they run out to save the day! However, Indiana is a little bit different than New York City, and they struggle to fit in.
Each of the four main characters have their fun quirks, which will have you laughing out loud and secretly loving them. Dee Dee Allen used to be a big deal, winning many awards, but those days are past. Now she is the stereotypical over the top narcissistic actress, who is starved for attention, love, and confirmation. Truly, everything is about her, even if she sings otherwise. So, basically, she is by far the best character in the play. She is raw and passionate. She doesn’t mean to be selfish, she just has been spoiled for so long that she doesn’t know any other way. Beth Leavel does a phenomenal job giving Dee Dee her over the top personality and a voice that will impress!
Barry Glickman, who is a gay Broadway star, has an ego as well, but can connect more with our Emma and her struggles. He is flamboyant and lovable, and he becomes quick friends with Emma. Alyssa and Trent Oliver are not as much in the limelight, but are delightful in their own right. Trent is the proud Julliard graduate who has to quote plays all the time, but is only really recognized from a quick appearance he had on TV. Alyssa is a Roxie Hart dreaming to play Roxie Hart in Chicago, the irony of which was not lost on me. She lives and breathes the role, dressing the part, and bringing the “zazz” at all times. In fact, The Prom is full of juicy fun Broadway references that any Broadway geek will appreciate.
All four of these caricatures are lovable and amusing, with big hearts that mostly hold love for themselves. I found the rest of the story-line to be filler. They could be fighting any issue, it didn’t matter. I guess that was kinda the point though. Although, I’m a big advocate of everyone being able to go to Prom. The rest of the characters felt like they could be seen in any high school drama. You had the caring principal, the popular kids, the outcasts, and the pretty girl who is conflicted. I do want to give a big shout out to Caitlin Kinnunen (Emma) for her voice. That girl can sing, and hold a note for days!
Overall, The Prom is an award winning, playful, lighthearted musical with a great set and amazing dancers. Some of the male dancers even threw in some acrobatics, which is always an instant win for me. You will laugh and smile as you watch our stars grow into slightly less terrible people, by not completely destroying Emma’s life, and helping to change some minds of the youth in a small conservative town in Indiana.
If you are looking for a fun evening that will have you bent over in giggles, go see The Prom, and learn to love our long-ago famous Broadway stars as much as they love themselves.
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