Review: THE PROM at The Overture Center

THE PROM will play at Overture Center from Tuesday, March 22 through Sunday, March 27

By: Mar. 23, 2022
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Review: THE PROM at The Overture Center

The Prom is a hilarious romp about a very weighty and far-reaching issue. The issue of course is that actors are perceived as narcissistic and shallow. Well, that and a high school in Indian is canceling the prom so that out of the closet lesbian Emma (Kaden Kearney) won't attend. After reading a rough review in the paper Broadway stars Barry Glickman (Patrick Wetzel) and Dee Dee Allen (Courtney Balan) declare that they shall become "celebrity activists" and this is just the cause to change their narcissistic reputations. They and their entourage, Actor/Waiter/Julliard Graduate Trent Oliver (Bud Weber), Angie Dickenson (Emily Borromeo), and Producer Sheldon Saperstein (Shavey Brown), head to Indiana to "help that little lesbian whether she likes it or not". And help her they do!

The show takes you on an emotional trip as Emma bravely faces the hate she encounters daily at school and in the community. Further complicating matters, Emma is dating the daughter of Mrs. Green (Ashanti J'Aria), the PTA spokesperson who instigated the entire thing. Her daughter, Alyssa Green (Kalyn West), has not come out yet.

Emma's "Just Breath" is a beautiful look into how she deals with all the stress she faces being gay in Indiana. ("Note to self, don't be gay in Indiana-Just Breathe")

The New York actors rush in to help Emma! Beginning with Dee Dee's fantastic vocals on "It's Not About Me" the plan takes place. Each member of the New York entourage encourages Angie takes matters into her own hands giving Emma the advice of "Zazz" after a heartwarming story about a 1975 struggling actress who finally gets to play Roxxy in Chicago. While struggling for a solution Trent Oliver does a great job encouraging the high schoolers to "Love Thy Neighbor". The plan goes through until Barry celebrates with a most energetic, "Barry is going to Prom".

The show does a great job of showing the struggles of LGTB youth across the country. (spoiler alert: This issue is NOT contained to Indiana) It takes the real issue of intolerance and fear and wraps it up nicely, which is of course it's job.

The reality is much harsher. Estimates suggest that LGBTQ youth are anywhere from 2 to 13 times more likely to experience homelessness compared to heterosexual and cisgender youth (Coolhart & Brown, 2017). Studies also find that leaving home due to conflict with guardians over sexual orientation or gender expression is the primary reason for housing instability among LGBTQ youth (Choi et al., 2015). Once they leave home, LGBTQ youth experience higher rates of violence, physical and mental health degradation, and exploitation when compared to other youth experiencing homelessness.

If you know of an LGTB youth in crisis you can access help lines here.



Madison, Wis. (March 8, 2022) a"? Put on your prom dresses and tuxedos and get ready for a memorable night out... The National Tour of the 2019 Drama Desk Award winner for Outstanding Musical THE PROM will play at Overture Center from Tuesday, March 22 through Sunday, March 27. Tickets are available at

This hit musical stars Kaden Kearney (they/them) as "Emma, High School Student, Banned from the Prom," Kalyn West as "Alyssa Greene, 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."

Rounding out the ensemble are Jordan Alexander, Gabrielle Beckford, Ashley Bruce, Olivia Rose Cece, Maurice Dawkins, Jordan De Leon, Shawn Alynda Fisher, James Caleb Grice, Megan Grosso, Chloe Rae Kehm, Braden Allen King, Brandon J. Large, Christopher McCrewell, Adriana Negron, Lexie Plath, Brittany Nicole Williams, Thad Turner Wilson and Josh Zacher.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award® winner Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin, Mean Girls), THE PROM features a book by Tony Award® winner Bob Martin (Elf, The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony Award® nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin), music by Tony Award® nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf the Musical) and lyrics by Tony Award® nominee Chad Beguelin with scenic design by Tony Award® winner Scott Pask (The Book of Mormon), costume design by Tony Award® winner Ann Roth (The Book of Mormon) and Matthew Pachtman (The Book of Mormon), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (Diana: The Musical), sound design by Tony Award® winner Brian Ronan (Mrs. Doubtfire, Mean Girls), wig and hair design by Josh Marquette (Pretty Woman, Means Girls), make-up design by Milagros Medina-Cerdeira (Mean Girls), orchestrations by Tony Award® winner Larry Hochman (Hello, Dolly!), music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Mean Girls) and casting by The Telsey Office. THE PROM is based on an original concept by Jack Viertel.

Everyone's invited to the joyous Broadway hit that New York Magazine hails as "smart and big-hearted" while The New York Times declares it "makes you believe in musical comedy again!" THE PROM is a musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all. Variety raves, "It's so full of happiness that you think your heart is about to burst." And The Hollywood Reporter cheers, "It's comic gold!"

Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe & Peabody Award winner Ryan Murphy (The Boys In The Band, "American Horror Story") turned THE PROM into a movie event for Netflix starring Meryl Streep (DeeDee), James Corden (Barry), Nicole Kidman (Angie), Keegan-Michael Kay (Principal Tom Hawkins), Andrew Rannells (Trent), Jo Ellen Pellman (Emma), Ariana DeBose (Alyssa), Kerry Washington (Mrs. Greene), Keegan-Michael Key (Principal Hawkins) and Kevin Chamberlin (Sheldon).

Viking Books also recently announced that Saundra Mitchell, author of over 20 books for tweens and teens, has written the YA novelization of the hit Broadway musical comedy THE PROM to adapt the new original musical into a reading experience that reflects the energy and humor of the show and echoes its message of acceptance and inclusion. The book was published on September 10, 2019, with Viking Children's Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers.

The producing team for THE PROM includes Bill Damaschke, Dori Berinstein, Jack Lane, NETworks Presentations, Natasha Davison, Merry & Jim Mosbacher, Terry Schnuck, Liz Armstrong, Elizabeth L. Green, Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra & Stephen Della Pietra, Seth A. Goldstein, Jane Dubin, Smedes-Stern-Palitz, Fahs Productions, Joe Grandy, Don & Nancy Ross, Three Belles & A Bob, InStone Productions, Fakler-Silver, Arment-Tackel, Cliff Hopkins, Larry & Elizabeth Lenke, Christopher Ketner, The John Gore Organization, Nancy & Ken Kranzberg, Independent Presenters Network, Mark Lonlow & JoAnne Astrow, Iris Smith, Sabrina Wallace, Garris-Morris-Masie Productions, Judith Manocherian, The Shubert Organization, Karen DeVerna & Jeremiah J. Harris, Fox Theatricals, Michael and Adrienne Blackman and Heidi & Stephen Distante.

THE PROM made its world premiere at The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA, Susan V. Booth, Artistic Director, in 2016, and played its final performance at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway on August 11, 2019, after playing 23 previews and 310 regular performances.

For more information visit:


Facebook: @ThePromMusical

Instagram: @ThePromMusical

Twitter: @ThePromMusical

TikTok: @ThePromMusical

Hashtag: #ThePromMusical

Broadway at Overture is sponsored by American Family Insurance. Our community partner for The Prom is Park Bank. Overture is grateful for this community support that helps make these experiences possible.

View our health and safety policies at

OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Madison, Wis., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization that features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and four galleries where national and international touring artists, nine resident companies and hundreds of local artists engage people in nearly 700,000 educational and artistic experiences each year. With the vision to provide "Extraordinary Experiences for All," Overture's mission is to support and elevate our community's creative culture, economy and quality of life through the arts.

Shari Gasper

Communications Director

Overture Center for the Arts

201 State Street, Madison, WI 53703

O: 608.443.1756

C: 608.213.4504


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