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Student Blog: My Return to the Theater

I went back to the theater to see The Prom Mexico and it was a beautiful experience.

Student Blog: My Return to the Theater

It's been two years and finally I went back to the theater. It was a beautiful experience since streaming plays and musicals were the closest thing to being in a theater during the pandemic. It was cool, but seeing something live is different and magical.

I didn't have the chance to watch The Prom on Broadway but I listened to the soundtrack and it was cute. I liked the story and two or three songs were stuck in my head but that was it. Then, in 2020, the movie was great. I mean the cast was awesome, but there were things that I didn't love.

Now last weekend, I got the chance to see this musical with the Mexican company. The fact that it was translated made it ten times funnier, the songs were so good and the message had a bigger impact because of the social and cultural aspects here in Mexico.

For those who don't know what The Prom is about, it's the story of Emma who can't go to her prom with her girlfriend because she lives in a very conservative city (in the original musical everything takes place in Indiana. In the Mexican version, it takes place in Salamanca). When a group of theatre actors find out about the situation, they want to do something so the press realize they are good people because they don't have the best reputation. Some things like the name of the school and even the background of some characters had to change so the musical could connect better to the audience. I think the people in charge of this had so much fun translating the dialogues and jokes, because we couldn't stop laughing. My favorite characters since the beginning were Trent, Angie and Barry (who's name in Mexico is Benny) and after watching them in real life, I still say they're my favorites, played by José Luis Rodríguez "El Guana", Majo Pérez and Gerardo González. They gave a fresh touch to the characters without leaving their essence and what they represent in the story.

But if I'm being honest, the whole cast did an amazing job with their roles, for example, Brenda Santabalbina, who plays Emma is so talented-- oh my god, when she sings "Unruly heart" ("Corazón Audaz"), I almost cried-- or Gigi (that is the equivalent of Dee Dee) played by Susana Zabaleta brought a more fierce personality with a funny touch to the character.

Now talking about the songs, it's crazy how music can be part of a story and if it's well done, it'll work in any language. Listening to the whole musical in Spanish made me appreciate everything behind the lyrics and how careful the ones in charge of translating need to be so the messages of the story that are being told through songs have the same impact with the audience.

My favorite songs are "Tonight Belongs to You," "Love Thy Neighbor," "Unruly Heart" and "It's Time to Dance." The Spanish version of each one had me singing and wanting them to be on a music platform because they were so good, the words and the performances were wonderful. Also, I'd like to say that "Barry is Going to Prom" was not my favorite in any version, but in Spanish and with Gerardo's voice, it was so beautiful.Student Blog: My Return to the Theater

And finally, we need to talk about the ensemble! Those people are beyond talented. The choreography might not be the most difficult one, but it's certainly not a piece of cake and I really admire the energy that they bring to the stage. They're young but talented people that dance and sing for two and a half hours keeping a smile on their faces. My favorite performances where the ensemble just shines, are definitely "Tonight Belongs to You" and "It's Time to Dance." But also in "You Happened," they were awesome. I love the changes with the promposals, it was funny but cool.

I loved The Prom and if I could, I would watch it again and again and again, because to bring this great story to life, they needed an exceptional company and they found it. Every time they were on stage, they gave everything and brought this magic that we can only see in the theater. I'm glad and proud that here in Mexico City, we have plays and musicals with this quality, made with effort, passion and love.

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From This Author - Student Blogger: Silvana Flores