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Photo 1-3 The National Touring Company of The Prom playing Aug 6-Sept 11 at Ahmanson Theatre (Photo Deen Van Meer)

The Prom

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photos By Deen Van Meer

Two years ago, Ryan Murphy turned the Broadway show The Prom into a Netflix movie event with big name stars.  It was ideal feel good viewing for all of us stuck in our homes during the pandemic.  The original hit Broadway show is now coming to the Ahmanson Theatre and it’s a not-to-be-missed larger than life musical comedy. The storyline is the same and more relevant than ever here – centering on the troubles in a small-town where Emma a high school student wants to bring her girlfriend to the prom.  The town is in an uproar and parents threaten to organize a secret prom. The situation hilariously escalates when four fading Broadway stars – desperate for some positive publicity – become involved on a mission to change the world uniting under a banner of love for all. 

This is a show the whole family can enjoy – there’s lot of laughs, clever lyrics, big dance numbers and endearing ‘over the top’ characters.   Yes there is a serious message of inclusivity, but it’s wrapped up in one entertaining package. 

Winner of the 2019 Drama Desk Award for Best Musical, the show has quite a pedigree – it was created by the team responsible for The Book of Morman, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Elf, three of the most success and most lauded productions in recent years.  “The Prom,” is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin, and Mean Girls) and is based on an original concept by Jack Viertel. The critics loved The Prom. It was a New York Times Critic’s Pick saying it “makes you believe in musical comedy again.” AndVariety noted “This joyous, original musical… is so full of happiness that you think your heart is about to burst.”

The national tour stars Kaden Kearney as Emma, the high school student banned from the prom; Kalyn West as the head of the student council (with a secret); Courtney Balan from the original Broadway cast as a fading Broadway star along with Patrick Wetzel, Emily Borromeo, and Bud Weber. Ashanti J’Aria, Sinclair Mitchell and Shavey Brown round up the cast.

The Prom is based on a true story. In 2010, Constance McMillen, a high school student in Mississippi was not allowed to bring her girlfriend to her prom.  The ACLU took her case to court and she eventually won a cash settlement, but more important the school district agreed to adopt a non-discriminatory policy.

For tickets and show times, click here.