By Eric Dallman
We recently watched “The PROM” at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, and it was an experience that left a lasting impact on us.
The story, a heartwarming yet familiar one, follows a group of Broadway stars as they travel to a conservative Indiana town to help a lesbian high school student, Emma, bring her girlfriend to the prom.
It's a musical comedy that features catchy songs, dance numbers, heartwarming moments, and comedic scenes that touch on the tough issue of what it's like to come out to friends and the community and not feel accepted or supported.
What made this show stand out was how it tackled such a sensitive topic with such honesty and care. As the characters interacted with each other and the townspeople, we saw firsthand the challenges and hardships that members of the LGBTQ community face, especially in more conservative areas. The show did not shy away from portraying the harsh realities of homophobia and the isolation that comes with it. But at the same time, it offered a message of hope and reminded us that love and acceptance can conquer hate and fear.
The cast, led by Monty Hays as Emma and Maya Richardson as Alyssa, brought a level of genuine energy and spark to the stage that was truly impressive. Both Monty and Maya, who are members of the LGBTQ community themselves, shared a personal connection with their roles, and their performances were nothing short of amazing. We could feel the emotion and authenticity in their acting and singing, and it was truly inspiring.
The set design and costumes were also top-notch, and they helped to bring the story to life beautifully and colorfully. The musical numbers were catchy and upbeat. But what really made the production special was the heart and soul that went into it. It was clear that everyone involved in the show had a deep respect and love for the story they were telling, and that made it all the more impactful.
At the core of “The PROM” is a story about acceptance, love, and the power of activism to effect change. It's a reminder that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. We left the theater feeling moved and empowered, and we hope that others who see the show will feel the same way.
According to Monty Hays, "If you have ever felt like an outcast, this show celebrates you."
IF YOU GO
If you have the chance to catch “The PROM” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, 501 W 78th Street, Chanhassen, Minn., we highly recommend it. The show runs through June 10, and tickets can be purchased for $53 to $98 via 952-934-1525 or chanhassendt.com. Chanhassen is in the southwestern part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, just off Minnesota State Highway 5 (Arboretum Blvd.). Take the Great Plains Blvd. offramp.
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