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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: BroadwaySF’s “The Prom” Offers Original Music, Laughs, and Tears of Joy in a ‘Clash-of-Cultures’ Mash-Up

Jun 24, 2022
by Val Hornstein
BroadwaySF’s production of “The Prom,” currently playing through July 17 at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre (1 Taylor Street), is a musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all. It’s basically about a group of Broadway narcissists-turned-activists who take over a small middle-American town to help a lesbian teen, who just wants to bring her date to the prom. Offering a tuneful score and artful performances, this show is a joyous, funny, and sweet production that appeals to musical fans of all ages.

“The Prom” stars Kaden Kearney as “Emma, High School Student, Banned from the Prom,” Kalyn West as “Alyssa Green, Head of Student Council with a Secret,” Courtney Balan as “Tony Award Winner Dee Dee Allen,” Patrick Wetzel as “Drama Desk Award Winner Barry Glickman, Emily Borromeo as “Angie Dickinson, Broadway Chorine,” Bud Weber as “Trent Oliver, Esteemed Julliard Graduate/Cater Waiter,” Sinclair Mitchell as “Mr. Hawkins, High School Principal,” Ashanti J’Aria as “Mrs. Greene, President of the PTA” and Shavey Brown as “Sheldon Saperstein, Broadway’s Press Agent with a Plan.”

In “The Prom”, Dee Dee (Courtney Balan, who offers a grand performance), Barry (Patrick Wetzel, who declares, ‘I’m as gay as a bucket of wigs’), Angie (Emily Borromeo) and Trent (Bud Weber) are looking to recover their past theater glory after a New York Times review calls a couple of them narcissists. Well, after reading this they decide that it’s time to find a “high-profile, low-risk” charitable cause. Bingo: an Indiana lesbian high school student named Emma (Kaden Kearney) wants only to take another girl, Alyssa (Kalyn West), to her school’s prom, against the PTA’s wishes. As if the show’s lesbian love story and coming-out narratives are not enough, the true heartfelt moment that then packs an unexpected emotional punch is when Emma asks Barry — who’s also gay and who didn’t get to have his prom decades ago — to be her date!

It’s here that “The Prom” achieves some moments of real profundity. Basically, this show offers everyone a true proverbial invitation to find ways, overt and subtle, at any stage of life, to ask each other to prom.

Another of the show’s highlights is when Emily Borromeo’s Angie spectacularly counsels Emma to get some Fosse-esque “Zazz.”

“The Prom” features direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, music by Tony Award nominee Matthew Sklar, and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin.

Matthew Sklar’s easy melodies and Beguelin’s witty lyrics are a mix of classic Broadway show tunes (for the adult players) and exuberant or wistful pop songs (for the younger ones). Nearly everyone gets their musical moment or so, even as they evoke numbers from other shows.

Running time for “The Prom” is approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes. The show is recommended for ages 8+ (no children under the age of 5 are allowed). For tickets or more information please visit Broadwaysf.com.

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Photo caption: Courtney Balan, Patrick Wetzel, Bud Weber and Emily Borromeo star in The National Tour of “The Prom”.


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