BWW Review: Hilarious Production of ZOMBIE PROM From Theatre in the Park
The Theatre in the Park Winter Academy presented ZOMBIE PROM, for a limited engagement on Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29. The performance would best be described as fabulous, hilarious and one of the most professional young performer musicals to have appeared in Kansas City. Unfortunately for theater audiences, it did only run two days, so t had a limited audience.
The Theatre in the Park Winter Academy is made up of young actors who range from grade six through grade twelve. The Academy shows are run as a professional production with auditions, callbacks, casting and intense rehearsals which result in a full-length Broadway production. The cast of ZOMBIE PROM had only seven days of rehearsals from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. to perfect their performance, and perfect it, they did.
ZOMBIE PROM is an Off-Broadway musical which premiered in Florida in 1993. The musical is based on the story by John Dempsey and Hugh Murphy with Book and Lyrics by John Dempsey and Music by Dana P. Rowe. The Theatre in the Park production was directed by first time director Emily Vargo. As Choreographer Mandy Dulny designed dance numbers which coordinated perfectly with the songs and added more humor to an already sidesplitting play.
Maggie Bunch excelled in the role of Toffee the young high school student who falls in love with Jonny Warner (played by Jacob Jackson). After being counseled by her parents and the school, she breaks up with Jonny, causing him to drive his motorcycle into the nearby nuclear reactor. The simplicity of the scenery is perfect, with a loud roar of laughter erupting from the audience when the drawing of a motorcycle manually be moved into the drawing of a nuclear reactor appears. Bunch has a beautiful voice and stage demeanor and there is no doubt if she continues to pursue performing, she will become one of the most sought-after talents in the area.
Jackson, a junior at Blue Valley, was superb as Jonny the suitor which comes back from the dead to take Toffee to the prom. Declan Franey played Eddie the television personality who breaks the news about Zombie Jonny. At fifteen his performance was as natural as most local performers twice his age. Essy Pierce, also fifteen, is remarkable as the Principal Delilah Strict. She has a strong beautiful voice that was a delight to listen to. If the future of Kansas City performing arts is in the hands of Bunch, Jackson, Franey and Pierce then the future is bright.
Check out future shows online at www.theatreinthepark.org.