Fairy Godparents to the Rescue…in “The Prom”

In today’s complex world, adolescents are faced with difficult tasks of discovering their self identity, clarifying their sexual roles, assenting independence, learning to cope with authority and searching for goals that would
give their lives meaning. Cyber bullying and small town conservative standards and values only exacerbate teens wishing to ‘come out’ with pride and dignity. Many a theatrical production and TV series has made an effort to deal with such teen pressures; i.e “Heathers,” Dear Evan Hansen,” “Thirteen,” “Mean Girls,” and “Glee” to name a few, but none have tackled the very sensitive issue of a same sex teen couples having full acceptance at a high school prom. Enter this year’s Tony nominated Broadway musical, “The Prom,” directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, and produced by Bill Damaschke, Dori Berinstein, and Jack Lane. In today’s society of so much hate and random senseless violence, Broadway theatregoers worldwide get a chance to see intolerance transformed into understanding…and ultimately into love and compassion. As many concur, “if we do nothing, then they win,” so this profound production sheds light and helps bridge the ideological divide we face today, proving love will forever trump hate and bigotry. With clever, original lyrics and spectacular song and dance numbers, this show brings an incredibly sensitive subject, once taboo, to the stage in full regalia. One stand out number is a gospel like “Love Thy Neighbor” with lyrics “Raise your voices; drop the hate.” What particularly inspired co-producers Abigail Rose Solomon and Jennifer Kranz of Rosalind Productions Inc, was the female driven story, along with elements of social activism; generational shift in awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ; and the ongoing national divide between red and blue states. Never has a Broadway musical, replete with both drama and levity interspersed, been so impeccably timely and universal. The curtain goes up, and we are introduced to the concept of narcissistic thespians, (funny in its own right!); aging discrimination and most of all intolerance of a teen lesbian, Emma Nolan (Caitlin Kinnunen) just innocently wishing to join her peers at prom. Perhaps, Emma says it best in the beautiful lyrics of “Unruly Heart,” (kudos to Chad Beguelin), “This heart is the best part of me. So fears, all in the past, fading so fast,
I won’t stay hidden anymore. I’m who I am
And I think that’s worth fighting for.”


About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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