ACT­ING OUT Broad­way-bound mu­si­cal ‘The Prom’ sets world pre­miere at the Al­liance

GA Voice - - Art Reviews | Entertainment -

It’s the most an­tic­i­pated the­atri­cal event of the 2016 - 2017 sea­son, as well as the gayest. The Al­liance The­atre presents the mu­si­cal “The Prom” on Au­gust 18 and a num­ber of events will lead up to the open­ing.

In the new mu­si­cal, teenage Emma makes head­lines when she wants to bring her girl­friend to her high school prom with her. Her school, how­ever, is aghast and de­cides to can­cel the prom rather than grant her wish. Wish­ing to un-do a wrong, a group of fad­ing celebri­ties – Broad­way en­ter­tain­ers look­ing to keep their name in the head­lines - visit Emma’s small town in In­di­ana to fight the cause. Their ac­tivism, though, does more harm than good and the sit­u­a­tion gets even more chaotic.

Over­see­ing the project is Tony Award-win­ner Casey Ni­cholaw, the openly gay di­rec­tor and chore­og­ra­pher who steered the Al­liance’s 2015 world pre­miere of “Tuck Ev­er­last­ing” to Broad­way just a few months ago. His other Broad­way cred­its in­clude “Some­thing Rot­ten,” “The Drowsy Chap­er­one,” “The Book of Mor­mon,” “Elf” and “Aladdin.”

Michael Wynn the Al­liance’s man­ager of com­mu­nity en­gage­ment calls “The Prom” an “amaz­ing piece of theater.” “It’s great to have a mu­si­cal from Casey, who is all over Broad­way right now,” he says. “It’s a great, in­ter­est­ing story about all that hap­pens just be­cause a girl wants to take an­other girl to the prom. It’s about a com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether, peo­ple un­der­stand­ing each other and their dif­fer­ences. It’s also about what you go through when you fall in love with some­one.”

On July 20, many of the mem­bers of the cre­ative team, in­clud­ing Su­san Booth, the artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Al­liance The­atre, Ni­cholaw, com­poser Matthew Sk­lar, li­bret­tist Bob Martin, and lyri­cist/li­bret­tist Chad Beguelin, will lead “Be­hind the Mu­si­cal,” a dis­cus­sion about the world pre­miere mu­si­cal. The lead ac­tress, Caitlin Kimunnen – who plays Emma, was in At­lanta this spring to per­form a num­ber at the theater’s Taste of the Sea­son event.

Fol­low­ing the event will be an ac­tual prom, geared for those who might have not ac­tu­ally had the op­por­tu­nity to take the one they wanted to their own prom, says Wynn. The event is open to all ages and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tions. “We are hav­ing it for the en­tire LGBTQ com­mu­nity and any­one else, with­out judg­ment,” he says.

Wynn wants to make the event as au­then­tic as pos­si­ble. “We are go­ing to try and get it as close to a real prom as we can – dec­o­ra­tions, lights, a place to take pic­tures, as well as a DJ and a spe­cial per­for­mance,” he says. He will also be work­ing with commu- nity part­ners to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion/tabling at the event.

The Al­liance The­atre rec­om­mends dress­ing ac­cord­ingly for the spe­cial event.

“The Prom” is ex­pected to move to Broad­way at a later date. Re­hearsals will be start­ing soon.

The Be­hind the Mu­si­cal and The Love Wins Prom event are free but reser­va­tions are re­quired at al­liancethe­atre.org/Be­hindTheMu­si­cal.

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