Glad I Got My Ticket For The Prom

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Source: Photo by Elizabeth Buckingham

By Elizabeth Buckingham

It’s been quite a while since one of these has been written, but The Prom was definitely an awesome show to kick off the start of the 2022-2023 Shea’s season! A story filled with bright lights, a bustling party, and broadway stars… This show did not disappoint! I had the pleasure of seeing the show’s opening night here in Buffalo with two of my friends, and it definitely walked up the ladder of my favorite shows performed at Shea’s. You could tell the cast was passionate about the amazing story they got to tell, and the energy given off by the audience felt just the same!

Our story begins meeting two famously narcissistic co-leads, Dee Dee Allen and Barry Glickman, followed by the iconic duo Trent Oliver and Angie Dickinson, who are currently out of luck when Dee Dee and Barry’s newest broadway show got canceled on the first night. The tale then switches to Emma, a 17-year-old high school student who just wanted to bring her girlfriend to their Indiana school’s prom… until said prom was canceled. In her first song, “Just Breathe”, Emma shows us the homophobia she faced from her school’s PTA, on top of being bullied just because she was gay. The four actors from the opening hear about this, and the cancellation of this small town’s prom make them want to do something to help this girl in any way they can, even if their intentions at the start were quite self-centered. However, one of the other major issues that Alyssa, Emma’s girlfriend, has to overcome is that she is the daughter of the notoriously homophobic PTA president, who had been the cause for this mess in the first place. This, along with tackling the uneducatedness of this small Indiana town, gave the acting crew a lot of work to do, spreading the message of positivity and inclusivity throughout the show and changing the narrative and perspective of these kids. Spoiler alert, Emma does get her well-deserved prom in the end after sending out her own message, making a completely LGBTQIA+ inclusive prom for kids across the state. In the happy ending song, “It’s Time To Dance”, Emma and Alyssa get to finally dance with each other at prom, ending the show with a bittersweet kiss; they show that it doesn’t matter if some people don’t agree with you, but no matter what, you are not alone, and you are allowed to love who you want to love.

I found this show to be rather personal for me. The way these absolutely wonderful actors performed this show was incredible to watch. From the sets to the vocals, to the lighting and the pit, my jaw was dropped at how well the show was put together. To throw out a few names, Kaden Kearney, the actor for Emma, did a phenomenal job playing this role. Their expressions and even mannerisms made me feel really represented on stage, and they did an amazing job with all the other actors as well. Kalyn West, who played Alyssa, and Bud Weber, who played Trent Oliver, did an incredible job too. Weber’s famous song, “Love Thy Neighbor” definitely got a bunch of laughs from the audience, and West’s perfectly acted “Alyssa Greene” song made the audience sympathize with Alyssa’s struggle and understand her circumstances too.

But, if I took a step back and looked at the show from a production standpoint, crazy amounts of credit have to go to the crew working to make this show come together. My friend, who works in tech at East, said, “From a tech standpoint, I liked the lighting! It was pretty intricate and made the scenes feel very real. I enjoyed the color schemes used when Emma and Alyssa were together, and the significance behind it.” I also noticed the use of sets to separate areas and rotate scenes seamlessly, and it was pretty cool to watch on stage! Everything flowed really nicely together in my opinion!

Overall, this show was amazing. The actors were incredibly talented, and from the second the cast stepped on stage to the final bows at the end, not once was I unimpressed. This has definitely set a good standard for the rest of the season, and if you had the opportunity to go see this show, it surely did not disappoint! With six more shows in the season, I’m looking forward to the rest of the year!