Drayton Entertainment has a new musical coming to you. This one’s called The Prom.
The story is about four New York-based Broadway stars who decided they need to revamp their image and gain more attention. To that end, they find a cause to support … with the added advantage of putting themselves in the spotlight.
They find a small town in Indiana where a girl is barred from bringing her girlfriend to the local prom. The Broadway stars head to the conservative town of Edgewater, where they support the cause for all the wrong reasons.
Inspired by a true story, the concept for The Prom was developed by Broadway producer Jack Viertel after seeing news reports about gay students not being allowed to attend their proms.
“It reminds people that the best way to help yourself is to help others. That’s a really big theme. And another big theme of the show is that life is not a dress rehearsal – you know that we only have one shot at this thing and so be the best version of yourself that you can be now. Don’t wait until tomorrow, because tomorrow’s not guaranteed,” said David Connolly, the director and choreographer.
The Prom opened on Broadway in 2018, said Connolly, and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. It was created by the same people behind The Book of Mormon, the Drowsy Chaperone and Aladdin, and was made into a Netflix movie in 2020.
“Only twice in my life have I left a show and gone to the box office to buy tickets to the next show, and that’s what happened to me at The Prom. I was so blown away by its heart and its message that I just had to see it again as soon as possible, so I left the matinee, and bought tickets for that night,” Connolly said.
Connolly says his favourite part of directing a play comes after the performance. He loves to watch people leave the play, make their way to the exits and head to their cars in the parking lot.
“The best part of those show, for me, is to stand in the parking lot after and see patrons leave singing and dancing and laughing and talking about, ‘Oh remember when she did this and when they did that?’ and I just know that’s going to continue in the car ride home. They’re going to talk about it the next day at work and forget just for a moment, for as long as they choose to, kind of forget the worries that they walked into the theatre with.”
Rehearsals for The Prom start today (April 27) but Connolly says rehearsals and then the resulting performance is only the tip of the iceberg that is Drayton Entertainment: a lot more goes on, with many people behind the scenes, before rehearsals even start, he says.
“So, really, the first day of rehearsals is the last chapter of a very long, a very robust blueprint of items that need to be accomplished before they get there. And then we have a relatively short amount of time to get the cast, who I consider to be kind of be the last runner in a relay.
“We give the baton to them and you’re like, ‘here’s all the information now take all of the labour and creativity and passion that all of these other people have put into the production and take it across the finish line.’”
The Drayton Entertainment production of The Prom will be on stage at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from May 17 to June 11. Tickets are $55, available through the Drayton Entertainment box office at 519-747-7788 or online at www.draytonentertainment.com.