Broadway's THE PROM Opens to Rave Reviews
BROADWAY’S NEW MUSICAL COMEDY THE PROM OFFICIALLY OPENS ON BROADWAY!
CRITICS’ PICK! “MAKES YOU BELIEVE IN MUSICAL COMEDY AGAIN!” – New York Times
“I CAN’T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I LAUGHED SO HARD!” – Wall Street Journal
“A DAMN GOOD TIME! GENUINE JOY ROLLS OFF THE STAGE.” – New York Magazine
“SO FULL OF HAPPINESS THAT YOU THINK YOUR HEART IS ABOUT TO BURST!” – Variety
“COMIC GOLD!” – The Hollywood Reporter
Directed and Choreographed by Tony Award Winner CASEY NICHOLAW
Book by Tony Award Winner BOB MARTIN & Four-Time Tony Award Nominee CHAD BEGUELIN
Music by Tony Award Nominee MATTHEW SKLAR
Lyrics by Four-Time Tony Award Nominee CHAD BEGUELIN
(New York, NY) Broadway’s new original musical comedy THE PROM officially opened tonight at the Broadway’s Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street). With direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon), THE PROM features a book by Tony Award winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin), music by Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf) and lyrics by four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin.
Here’s what the critics had to say:
By Jesse Green
CRITICS’ PICK! “The Prom begins when a theater critic for The New York Times writes a pan so poisonous that the show he’s reviewing dies on the spot. That’s ridiculous. It could never happen. At any rate, it won’t happen now, because The Prom, which opened on Thursday at the Longacre Theater, is such a joyful hoot. With its kinetic dancing, broad mugging and belty anthems, it makes you believe in musical comedy again.”
By Sara Holdren
“The giddy, smart, big-hearted new musical The Prom has arrived on Broadway after a much-praised 2016 run at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, but really, it’s always been here. Its story begins at the glitzy opening-night party of a self-serious Broadway biomusical called (what else) Eleanor!–The Eleanor Roosevelt Musical. The show’s stars prance and preen, confident not only in their artistic genius but in the knowledge that they’re nightly “changing lives.” It’s all champagne and finger food and air kisses until—dun dun dunnnn!—the Times review comes in. Faced with a brutal show-closing pan (it even includes that damning favorite arrow in the critical quiver: misguided), the devastated actors need a new stunt: something that will raise their spirits and their profiles. Then, eureka! “I know how we can still love ourselves, but appear to be decent human beings,” declares Drama Desk-winner Barry Glickman (Brooks Ashmanskas), whose FDR has just been called “offensive and laughable” in the paper of record: “We’ll become celebrity activists!” I had already been giggling, but Barry’s fervent resolution—delivered as if he were about to mount the Les Mis barricade—produced one of those cackles that makes other audience members notice me. This particular tree is ripe for shaking, and The Prom sets about its parodic business with mischievous brio and, importantly, real affection. With irrepressibly energetic tunes by Matthew Sklar and winking lyrics by Chad Beguelin (the duo behind The Wedding Singer), and a cheeky, just-poignant-enough book by Beguelin and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), The Prom has that same lovingly satirical spirit as Chaperone, or as another of Martin’s co-creations, the brilliant Canadian TV series Slings and Arrows. Beth Leavel, who won a Tony for her performance in The Drowsy Chaperone’s title role, is doing deliciously funny work as Barry’s fellow narcissist (and star of Eleanor!), an actress called Dee Dee Allen, and Chaperone’s director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw infuses the proceedings with his signature high-energy effervescence.”
By Frank Rizzo
“It seems like a dubious musical mash-up: Broadway narcissists-turned-activists take over a middle-American town to help a lesbian teen who just wants to bring her date to the prom. But with a tuneful score, a playful book, and performances that remind you what Broadway heart and chutzpah are all about, this cause celebre of a show turns out to be a joyous, funny, and sweet production that should appeal to several generations of musical fans. Bob Martin (“The Drowsy Chaperone”) and Chad Beguelin (“Aladdin”) wrote the lively, tender, big-laugh book — based on an original concept by Jack Viertel — for the musical that premiered at Atlanta’s Alliance Theater two years ago. It’s a 21st century “Bye Bye Birdie,” with showbiz interlopers causing havoc before finding their better selves — but re-imagined with a millennial slant and an echo of “Dear Evan Hansen” empowerment.”
By David Cote
“The tag line: Broadway Boomers try to save prom for a millennial lesbian who is totally embarrassed by them. A good premise executed well is the formula that wins here.”
By Terry Teachout
“The Prom will make you laugh—I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard at a new musical—and it will also fill you with the toasty-warm glow of unchallenged righteousness. That’s a surprising combination, especially nowadays.”
By Joe Westerfeld
“The Prom is a laugh-inducing juggernaut. That said, no drinks should be allowed at the seats during the performance: The risk of spit takes here is much too great.”
By David Rooney
“The legitimately funny book is co-written by Bob Martin, who won a Tony Award (as did Leavel) for his work in the same capacity on The Drowsy Chaperone; and Chad Beguelin, who penned Disney's Aladdin, another Nicholaw musical. The two-pronged score, which has distinct styles for the Hoosier teens and the Manhattanite interlopers, is by composer Matthew Sklar, with clever lyrics by Beguelin; the two last teamed on yet another Nicholaw show, Elf. Any musical that makes it to Broadway these days without a familiar movie source or a popular jukebox score is an achievement, so this original story is a rainbow unicorn that wins points right there. And Nicholaw's handle on musical comedy is unimpeachable, taking as much care with the little character details and peripheral action as he does with the splashy musical statements.”
By Christopher Kelly
“MVP credit here goes to Nicholaw, who not only moves the show along at an exuberant clip and keeps the tone balanced between sincerity and self-referentiality, but also serves up some of the mostly deceptively sophisticated, purely entertaining choreography of any recent Broadway musical. In the show's dance sequences, the performers -- younger and older alike -- move with an uncontainable, unrelenting sense of joy and energy. Their good vibes come cascading through the audience, helping to make "The Prom" arguably the happiest show around.”
By Adam Feldman
“Though it teases Broadway, The Prom has the appealing scrappiness of a party thrown by the theater community for itself, and nowhere is this celebration more joyous than in the deliciously hammy performances of its two seasoned stars, who take over-the-top to dizzying heights. The hilarious Ashmanskas never seems more than a hop, skip and jump away from actually hopping, skipping and jumping, and Leavel churns her big number, a pastiche called “The Lady’s Improving,” into pure showtune butter.”
By Roma Torre
“When The Prom begins, you might think you wandered into the wrong show. The scene is the opening night party for a new Broadway play and the stars are just getting around to reading the reviews. They’re bad of course, really bad. And so the two stars and a pair of actor friends decide they need a good cause to buoy their sinking careers. They settle on the case of a high school senior in a small Indiana town that’s refusing to let her bring her girlfriend to the prom. The four thespians swoop in thinking they’re actually going to change the conservative minds in the town, and naturally, chaos ensues. Hysterical chaos. It’s a zany concept, but book writers Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, who also wrote the lyrics alongside composer Matthew Sklar, have devised a witty and joyful romp that also happens to be quite moving. The songs are mighty tuneful; and the show's winking theatrical references are a delightful bonus. ”
We’ve got trouble, folks, right here in Indiana and when Broadway’s brassiest hear a student is unceremoniously sidelined from a small-town Indiana prom – and the press is involved – they are ready to kick-ball-change the world. A new musical comedy about the power of love (and a good 11 o’clock number), THE PROM is about so much more than just a dance.
THE PROM stars Tony Award Nominee Brooks Ashmanskas (Something Rotten!), Tony Award Winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), two-time Tony Award Nominee Christopher Sieber (Shrek the Musical), Caitlin Kinnunen (Bridges of Madison County), Isabelle McCalla (Aladdin), Michael Potts (The Iceman Cometh), Angie Schworer (The Producers), Courtenay Collins (Broadway Debut) and Josh Lamon (Groundhog Day) and an ensemble that includes Mary Antonini (Jesus Christ Superstar), Courtney Balan (Falsettos), Gabi Campo (Broadway Debut), Jerusha Cavazos (Broadway Debut), Shelby Finnie (Broadway Debut), Josh Franklin (Anything Goes), Fernell Hogan (Broadway Debut), Joomin Hwang (Broadway Debut), Sheldon Henry (Broadway Debut), David Josefsberg (Waitress), Becca Lee (Broadway Debut), Wayne Mackins (Broadway Debut), Kate Marilley (My Fair Lady), Vasthy Mompoint (SpongeBob SquarePants) Anthony Norman (Broadway Debut), Drew Redington (Holiday Inn), Jack Sippel (Broadway Debut), Teddy Toye (Lysistrata Jones), Kalyn West (Broadway Debut) and Brittany Zeinstra (Broadway Debut).
Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon), THE PROM features a book by Tony Award winner Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin), music by Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf) and lyrics by four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin with scenic design by Tony Award winner Scott Pask (Book of Mormon), costume design by Tony Award winner Ann Roth (Shuffle Along) & Matthew Pachtman (Hello, Dolly!, Associate Costume Designer), lighting design by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Frozen), sound design by Tony Award winner Brian Ronan (Mean Girls), wig and hair design by Josh Marquette (Present Laughter), make-up design by Milagros Medina-Cerdeira (Present Laughter), orchestrations by Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Hello, Dolly!), additional orchestrations by John Clancy (Mean Girls), music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Mean Girls), music direction by Meg Zervoulis (Mean Girls), music arrangements by Glen Kelly (Mean Girls), vocal arrangements by Matthew Sklar and Mary-Mitchell Campbell and casting by Telsey + Co./Bethany Knox. THE PROM is based on an original concept by Jack Viertel.
Produced by Dori Berinstein, Bill Damaschke and Jack Lane, THE PROM the producing team for THE PROM also includes James & Catherine Berges, Nelda Sue Yaw, Natasha Davison, Joe Grandy, Kimberlee Garris, Lisa Morris, Terry Schnuck, Jane Dubin, Rosalind Productions Inc., Fahs Productions, Seth A. Goldstein, Mike Kriak, Don & Nancy Ross, Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra & Stephen Della Pietra, Cliff Hopkins, Masie Productions, Vivek Shah, Three Belles & A Bob, Arment-Tackel, Armstrong-Manocherian, Fakler-Silver, Fox Theatricals-Mosbacher-Lonow, Palitz-Stern-Smedes, Nancy & Ken Kranzberg/David Lyons, Larry & Elizabeth Lenke/Elizabeth L. Green, Iris Smith/Instone Productions, Kuhlman-Ketner/Wallace-ATxRandom Productions, The John Gore Organization and The Shubert Organization in association with Independent Presenters Network, Margot Astrachan, Darren P. Deverna & Jeremiah J. Harris and Reagan Silber.
THE PROM made its world premiere at The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA, Susan V. Booth, Artistic Director, in 2016, where Variety raved, “Musical Comedy Heaven! A funny, loving and joyous musical,” and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called the show “A crowd-pleasing spectacle and delightful good fun! A valentine to the outrageous egos of the Great White Way.”
Tickets for THE PROM are on sale at www.telecharge.com (212.239.6200) and the Longacre Theatre box office (220 West 48th Street) and range from $59 – $179 (including the $2 facility fee).
A $40 general rush tickets (including the $2 facility fee) will be available at the Longacre Theatre box office when it opens for that day’s performance(s). Limited to two tickets per person, tickets are subject to availability. Cast and major credit cards are accepted.
For more information visit ThePromMusical.com.
Follow THE PROM on Instagram and Twitter at @ThePromMusical and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ThePromMusical/.
Lyft is the official rideshare sponsor of THE PROM.
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