I originally saw The Prom, back in November, but Beth Level was out. I was thrilled seeing this show with so much heart, after Head Over Heels, Pretty Woman and Getting The Band Back. Recently I returned to see the show to review, as well as vote.
The shows premise is four Broadway narcissists need to fix their reputations, so they descend upon a town in the midwest. Leading the pack is Dee Dee (Beth Leavel), who uses her two Tonys to get a motel room upgrade. Then there is her current co-star Barry (Brooks Ashmanskas), who “Is as gay as a bucket of wigs,” and more hammy than Dee Dee. Angie (Angie Schworer) is always a standby never the star and Trent (Christopher Sieber), claim to fame is going to Juilliard. Now this actor/waiter is in the non-Equity tour of “Godspell”.
Their cause is Emma (Caitlin Kinnunen), a gay teen who just wants to take her closeted girlfriend Alyssa (Isabelle McCalla) to the prom. Her sympathetic principal Mr. Hawkins (Michael Potts), is more than willing to let this happen, but Alyssa conservative mom (Courtenay Collins) is not having it.
When the self centered stars show up to help, all hell breaks loose. Mr. Hawkins is a fan of Dee Dee, but the town does not like newcomers.
Trent’s “Godspell” tour just happens to be arriving in the same town and their publicist Sheldon (Josh Lamon), gets them gigs that don’t land.
In the end a tuneful score by Matthew Sklar’s easy and Chad Beguelin’s witty lyrics keeps this show humming along and happy endings are guaranteed. You will walk out humming “Dance With You”.
The cast is at the top of their games with Caitlin Kinnunen wining our hearts. Brooks Ashmanskas “Barry Is Going to The Prom” is reminiscent of everyone who didn’t get their prom dreams fulfilled. Angie Schworer “Zazz” brings out the Fosse in everyone. Beth Level has moments with “It’s Not About Me”.
Director/ Choreographer Casey Nicholaw keeps this show at its paces.He is the king of knowing how to please an audience.
Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Chad Beguelin (Aladdin) book is funny and tender.
There is a lot of sentimentality at The Prom and craft. This musical will definitely win over a certain demographic and make them feel that this brings them just a little bit of closure.
The Prom: Longacre Theater, 220 West 48th.