NUNN'S THEATER HABIT
Need a Date to The Prom?
Sat. December 5, 2020 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
Musical lovers have been missing live theater during a pandemic in 2020, but Ryan Murphy and his gang have the cure this month on Netflix. Murphy is the perfect match for a high school set musical like this one after his previous projects on The WB's Popular and FOX's Glee.
The Prom premiered on Broadway back in 2018 and follows a group of Broadway actors that travel to Edgewater, Indiana on a mission to right a wrong after a student is banned from bringing her girlfriend to her high school prom. A gay ol' time ensues with cheeky humor, snappy songs and emotional moments all the while poking at small town life and conservative values.
Based on a true story that happened in 2010 where a senior in Fulton, Mississippi tried to bring her girlfriend to her high school prom had to battle the school board in a similar way. Celebrities such as Lance Bass and the band Green Day rallied behind the student much like the story in The Prom in real life.
A Netflix version of the musical is now produced and directed by out television and movie mogul Ryan Murphy just in time for the holidays. The national tour of the Tony-nominated show is planned for 2021, but in the meantime we have this debut to tide us over until then.
For those of us that grew up in small towns and struggled with identity, this is the story that will resonate. Many of us were forced to attend our school prom with a prop and not be our authentic selves because of society. The character of Emma Nolan gives us hope that things can change for the better if we just stand up and be counted.
The lines are sharply written for Meryl Streep to channel Patti LuPone and Nicole Kidman really steals the show with a Fosse inspired number in a living room scene. Queer newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman transforms into a star in front of our very eyes, while James Corden is already getting flack for playing gay. Kevin Chamberlin, who I know from his Addams Family musical run here in Chicago, is part of the cast, openly gay and underused. Why not throw him more to do in that role? Guess they went with a big name and Murphy seems to certainly have his pick of the litter.
Overall, audiences will be dancing in their living rooms for some time to come with this bright and cheery project that addresses a very serious topic in schools that is hopefully coming to an end as new generations take over and diversity eventually wins.
While we can't invite GoPride readers to the theater to privately screen The Prom, we can offer a special advance screening that will arrive in your email box the day before on Thursday, Dec. 10 instead of having to wait for the following day's worldwide debut.
Just email me at JerryNunnontheRun@gmail.com until the list is full by Monday Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. central standard time. There are only a limited amount of tickets available for this screening, so reach me before the deadline.
The Prom will dance into your hearts and minds in a time where we all need a little relief!