“AS GAY AS A BAG OF WIGS” - 'THE PROM’ MUSICAL ARRIVED JUST IN TIME FOR PRIDE 2022 WEEKEND
BROADWAY TAKES OVER A MID AMERICAN TOWN TO HELP TWO GAY TEENS WHO JUST WANT TO ATTEND THEIR PROM
Review by Vince Mediaa
Pride week 2022 was officially confirmed Wednesday at the opening of THE PROM MUSICAL. Broadway SF celebrates LGBTQ+ PRIDE Night Wednesday, June 22 and presented a special pre-show performance by San Francisco's own Lady Camden from RuPaul's Drag Race! Camden delighted the audience with “I Will Always Love You” and THE PROM cast “as gay as a bag of Wigs” took over the evening.
THE PROM with book and lyrics by Chad Beguelin, book by Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar and directed/choreographed by Casey Nicholaw is now on the Golden Gate Stage through July 17th. The hilarious musical was picked up by Netflix and has already been made into a film featuring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and James Corden. It was not a huge hit because it is a show about Broadway actors, which is why the Netflix film failed, this was only meant to be a stage musical.
This touring cast features Patrick Wetzel, the veteran Broadway talent playing the role of Barry Glickman. He stops the show with his solo “Barry is Going to Prom” and he is the tortured narcissist who says the headline for this review “as gay as a bag of Wigs”. The story deals with a some washed up narcissistic Broadway actors who try to recover from their string of failures by supporting a random young gay high schooler in Indiana. They pledge to "change the world, one lesbian at a time," asking Indiana to host an inclusive prom.
The teen is not allowed to take her girlfriend to the prom, a story we have seen many times. The young hero Emma, played by Kaden Kearney, introduces herself in the act one with the lovely ballad “Just Breath” were she reminds the opening night crowd “note to self don’t be gay in Indiana”. Her high school has of course a straight principal who tells the actors that invade his campus “straight people like Broadway too”. Sinclair Mitchell, plays principal Hawkins who has a fun solo “We Look to You”.
THE PROM runs 2 1/2 hours of typical miss guided gay jokes, except when Emma mentions San Francisco, the opening night crowd cheered. The score features 16 pop songs including the crowd pleaser Fosse-esque “Zazz” featuring Emma and Angie in an awkward moment. “When scared or on the fence you’ll find that Zazz will make your fear become your bitch”. The leads Barry and Dee Dee are drawn from ego pop New York actors that are unlikeable until the story ark becomes more emo in the second Act. Other songs include ”Dance With You,” “You Happened” “It’s Time to Dance”. Some of the dance hyped numbers reminded me of HAIRSPRAY with a DEAR EVAN HANSEN youth thumbs up feel.
Tony honored Director Casey Nicholaw brings his BOOK OF MORMON and SOMETHING ROTTEN humor and timing he created for those musicals. He also created the dance numbers to prove his choreography is always a highlight. Nicholaw has a strong Broadway hit factor including his MEAN GIRLS, SPAMALOT, ALADDIN and HADESTOWN.
Kearney’s Emma, gives the musical that human edge and heart in a lovely duet with Kalyan West who sings “Let the whole world melt away and dance with you who cares what the world thinks.” from the ballad “Dance With You”. They both have to learn to have faith in themselves. By the end of the night, the Broadway folks have learned not to be annoying actor-activists, and the Indiana community has to learn more tolerance. It celebrates a predictable kiss between two young lesbians and asks everyone to love each other, and who we are. This is the perfect fun to cap off your June Pride Month.
Tickets begin at just 40.00 Orch rush seats available at the walk up Box Office two hours before each performance.
Broadway SF Presents
By Bob Martin, Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar.
Directed by Casey Nicholaw
MUST CLOSE JULY 17TH 2022
Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St., San Francisco
Tickets: $56-$174 www.broadwaysf.com
RUNNING TIME 2 HOURS 30 MIN ONE INTERMISSION
Performance Schedule: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 PM Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday at 1 PM Sunday at 6:30 PM
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PHOTO CREDIT: DEEN VAN MEER
A special pre-show performance by Lady Camden, the San Francisco-based first runner-up on the most recent season of the hit TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The appearance will be Lady Camden’s first major Bay Area appearance since the program aired. In addition, a portion of all proceeds collected that evening will benefit The Trevor Project, (www.thetrevorproject.org), the national nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth. BroadwaySF also announces a special of up to 40% 40% off regular ticket prices for anyone who enters PRIDE when purchasing for that performance.