Having grown up in Syracuse New York, I went to a private Christian school. For MANY years-now it is different- our “prom” was called the Junior/Senior Dinner. Essentially the Juniors served dinner and played music for the seniors, as our way of saying ‘thank you’ and having a celebratory Christian school “prom”. Of course, people got all dressed up and had to have their dates approved, dress codes followed, and more than likely you were attached to a committee.
I, however, no matter what my rank was in my school, attended proms at other schools. I went with my then girlfriend my Junior year, my best friend our Senior year and my then girlfriend my freshman year of college-her senior year of high school. You see all these really creative “promposals” nowadays; they’re pretty fascinating. Unfortunately those weren’t as “televised” back then as they are now. In fact, I had to ask one of my girlfriends-creatively mind you- to her own prom, which I was already invited to. Spoiler alert, she said ‘yes!’
Just in case you were curious, the Junior/Senior dinners did not have dancing. Dancing, up until 8 years ago, at my little Christian high school, was not allowed. So we showed up, got pictures taken, ate dinner, heard some type of speech and presentation and then left. Unfortunately, I cannot give you more details pertaining to the Jr./Sr. Dinner, as I was not there. I never went. Junior year I was interim class Vice President, and senior year I was class Social Chairman. I made sure all of my obligations were taken care of, ran my errands then got dressed and went to my girlfriend’s or best friend’s prom! I took a lot of heat for that, but I certainly wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
About two years ago, a show called The Prom was announced in the “Coming Soon” section on www.Playbill.com. The show had a trial in Atlanta, where it received rave reviews. Because of how the landscape of Broadway was in 2017/2018, there just weren’t any available theatres. So The Prom had to wait a bit (an unknown length of time) until it was green lit to have a theatre. At that time, of my friends was in a show on Broadway called A Bronx Tale at the Longacre Theatre. The show posted it’s closing notice and closing dates.
Finally, a theatre opened up and the announcement I’d been waiting for. THE PROM WAS COMING TO BROADWAY!! The Prom stars Brooks Ashminakus, Beth Leavel, Christopher Sieber and many other incredible artists. Thank goodness for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! I was able to look up #ThePromMusical on all of those platforms to see what was coming. I was able to catch some bits and pieces from BroadwayCon, Elsie Fest and more!
Now, if you don’t know what The Prom is about:
The Prom, I firmly believe, is a story that we all need in today’s time. There’s political turmoil; friendships and families are split at the holiday seasons due to their political beliefs. I too have experienced siblings, and other close family relatives “unfollowing” me on Facebook or condemning my comments on various social media platforms. Although The Prom has a seemingly focused message, there are multiple incredible takeaways. For me, in the end, we all bleed blue. We’re all humans. We’re all people. At some point we should start treating people as exactly that...People!... Humans! We must stop hiding behind whatever religion we find to be “holier than thou,” and think about what we’re saying before we point fingers and condemn others. Without getting incredibly political, (those who follow me on Facebook know how that turns out) this would be an INCREDIBLE show for the current administration (in 2019) to see. It’s got a distinct message which supports a much broader one: in the end, kindness knows no bounds, gender, creed, sexual identity or religious backgrounds. Recall the golden rule, ‘do unto others as you’d have others do unto you.’ In The Prom, there is a song called Love Thy Neighbor. It’s very poignant and makes perfect sense within the context. One of the lines leading into the song is, “we can't cherry-pick the Bible.” How true that is! We often find that people selecting verses out of the Bible in order to use it to further their own agenda or as a point of reference, when in some cases, what they’re actually doing is generating hate.
All of this being said, take some time, go see a Broadway Show! Support local community theatre productions, support theatre companies at all levels, support high school theatre and art. Theatre saves lives. Theatre helps those who don't have a group to belong to. Theatre can change the world one show tune at a time. If we lead with love, lead with kindness and show the power of Christ and Christianity through LOVE, through examples, and through tolerance, maybe this world will spin on its axis a bit easier.
Now, please go grab tickets for The Prom immediately on the TodayTix App, BroadwayBox, Playbill.com, BroadwayWorld.com, or simply www.Theprommusical.com ! As a music director and artist myself, The Prom is a musical that is truly unlike many others on Broadway as it is a completely original work. The Original Broadway Cast Album has been released on Masterworks Broadway Label and is available in hard copy formats and various digital platforms. The Prom plays on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre Tuesday-Sunday with two shows on Wednesday, and Saturday. The Box Office at the Longacre Theatre (220 W. 48th Street. New York, NY 10036) is open Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm.
Follow The Prom on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @PromMusical and follow the many members of the cast. Check out their social media, follow, share, retweet and post to your story. Show this original production (which has an incredible heart and a wonderful message) some awesome love. Go see a broadway show ya’ll!
“……...It’s Time To Dance!”