Review: THE PROM at Up-Stage Theatre, 26A Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt

by Upper Hutt Musical Theatre 12-22 June

By: Jun. 24, 2024
Review: THE PROM at Up-Stage Theatre, 26A Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

Outstanding cast deliver a thoroughly enjoyable evening

The Prom is a musical with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin and a book by Bob Martin and Beguelin. The story follows four Broadway actors who travel to the conservative town of Edgewater, Indiana, to help a lesbian student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to the high school prom.

Local girl Emma Nolan wants to take her girlfriend to prom, but the homophobic PTA is determined to keep the high school dance traditional. The Broadway celebrities step in to change the town and give Emma the prom she deserves.

What a great choice for UHMT to put this show on during Pride Month. The show is well written and handled the subject matter with both humour and compassion.

The underlying message that came through for me was not to berate those who thought a different way, but to educate with kindness. The song Love Thy Neighbour embodied that sentiment. Some people take time to "get it" but eventually most will come around and embrace change.

The set was cleverly designed, with the show opening to an empty canvas, save a couple of blocks on either side of the stage. These opened out to represent bleachers and a desk. Other props were brought on and off during mostly quick scene changes. The pace of a couple were a bit slow, but did not detract from the show as a whole.

The cast were universally excellent, The show started with the Broadway stars, two of whom had just finished performing the opening night of Eleanor! The Eleanor Roosevelt story, which also doubled as closing night. Tia Minnoch played DeeDee with just the right amount of sass and also a sadness at the realisation that her career was coming to an end. Rob Arnold as Barry, gave the best performance that I have seen him give, singing well and bringing a warmth to his character. Both Ash Sederel as Angie and Callan James as Trent were strong, with Callan performing my favourite song, the previously mentioned "Love Thy Neighbour."

Corrie Milne as Emma, the girl who wanted to take her girlfriend to the prom and Izzy Kemp as Alyssa, the girlfriend, sang, danced and acted so well. It is a treat to see young talent like this on stage.

Rounding off the leads was Arna Hannan as Mrs Green, who portrayed the misguided mother well and Danny Clenott as Mr Hawkins, the principal, who's smooth voice I could listen to for hours. 

The ensemble were also well cast with both the dancing (choreography by Aroha Davidson) and singing (MD Tia Minnoch) of a very high standard.

The director (Bec Watson) moved everything at pace and did a skilled job-congratulations.

The show was visually interesting and costumes and lighting were also used to great effect.

This was an absolute celebration of Pride and of theatre. If I were able to get a ticket to see it again I would. Sadly there was sickness in the cast meaning the performance I was booked to see was postponed until the final day, so the curtain has come down on what very well might be the best community musical this reviewer sees this year. 


To post a comment, you must register and login.