The Arlington Players stage the hit Broadway musical “The Prom” now by Sunday, April 7 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Arlington, Virginia.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews ‘The Prom’ by The Arlington Players (Part 1)

EDITOR’S NOTE: “The Prom” is co-produced by WTOP’s personal Sandy Kozel, one of many many theater volunteers.

High college proms are nonetheless just a few months away in May, however seize that corsage and boutonniere early!

The Arlington Players stage the hit Broadway musical “The Prom” now by Sunday, April 7 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Arlington, Virginia.

“It’s a really humorous present in some ways,” director Joanna Henry informed WTOP. “There are a variety of humorous moments, however there are additionally some severe ones in there. It’s received an important message about acceptance and accepting those that are totally different and recognizing the humanity in all of us.”

Written by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin with music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Beguelin, the musical premiered in Atlanta in 2016 earlier than hitting Broadway in 2018, incomes seven Tony Award nominations, together with Best Musical. It gained additional consideration when Ryan Murphy (“Glee”) tailored it right into a film musical on Netflix in 2020, starring Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key and Ariana DeBose.

“It’s loosely based mostly truly on a real story a few highschool scholar who wished to take her girlfriend to the promenade, however the PTA shut it down,” Henry stated. “There was some backlash to that, so a few Broadway stars who don’t have the best public picture, they’re seen as narcissists, they’re attempting to vary their picture, in order that they go along with different Broadway folks to this small city in Indiana to attempt to revamp their pictures and form of muscle in to vary the city and attempt to give Emma the promenade she deserves.”

The two promenade dates, Emma Nolan and Alyssa Greene, are performed by Emily Carbone and Jummy Lash, whereas the 2 visiting Broadway stars, Dee Dee Allen and Barry Glickman, are performed by Judy Lewis and Patrick M. Doneghy.

“They’re volunteers,” Henry stated. “These individuals are coming in on their very own time. The dedication and dedication they provide is simply unmatched. This solid, crew and everybody are so dedicated to doing the most effective that they’ll and making this the very best present that they’ll make it. The proven fact that it’s all volunteer makes it all of the extra particular, as a result of they’re coming right here after work to rehearse. It’s not their ‘job.’ Everybody is doing it as a result of they love theater.”

Henry is a current retiree, having served for a few years because the director of Theater Arts at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia. She now works with fellow volunteers, from music director Blakeman Brophy to choreographer Jeremy A. McShan, to deliver the present’s dazzling musical numbers to life onstage.

“It’s an enormous dance present with a variety of spirited choreography,” Henry stated. “The opening quantity [‘Changing Lives’] is enjoyable. … There’s a promposal music with the scholars’ improvements to the promenade. ‘It’s Time to Dance’ is a superb quantity, one other large dance quantity. ‘I Just Want to Dance with You’ is a phenomenal music between the 2 women. There’s a send-off to Bob Fosse with a music referred to as ‘Zazz’ … and there’s a music referred to as ‘The Acceptance Song.’”

The most poignant lyric would possibly simply be sung by Trent within the music “Love Thy Neighbor.”

“He sings, ‘Time to make some higher selections. Drop the hate and lift your voices,’” Henry stated.

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WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews ‘The Prom’ by The Arlington Players (Part 2)

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