The Prom: A Review In A Play! By Ali Skylar

CHARACTERS:  Amelia and Jake, a middle-aged couple from NY and NJ. 

SETTING:  In their bedroom, getting ready for bed after watching THE PROM on netflix.


JAKE: Hon, so what did you think?

AMELIA:  Much better than I expected!  And compiling notes in my head now to share with you…:)

JAKE:  You know, I liked it too. And I’m not usually into the campy, predictable storyline, but overall, it was directed well, musical numbers were great production pieces and how can you not love Meryl Streep?!?!  Although not really digging the red hair.

AMELIA:  Yep, totally agree. But I have to say it would have been so cool to have Bette Midler and Nathan Lane in the lead roles.  Love Corden – he’s such a cutie – but he couldn’t match Streep’s skills. And I think he was too young.  

JAKE:  You are so right.  Bette and Nathan! That would have been a dynamic duo of the highest order.

AMELIA: Meryl was, as usual, even with a campy script, able to give some depth and dynamics to the character, but I think she needed a more mature, older actor to match wits with. Since I haven’t seen the live show, not sure if this was a casting decision or a storyline match.

JAKE: Overall though, I thought everyone did a really great job acting, dancing and singing wise.  It was engaging and fun.

AMELIA:  Agreed.  But as a theater fan, and now that Broadway is shut down, I would have loved to have seen the original cast performing, giving the stage actors a chance to shine and be paid for their talents. And from what I know, the actors offer invaluable feedback and pointers to the writers that help to develop and create the characters.

JAKE:  Yeah but you and I both know that it’s the big names that draw the tv audience.

AMELIA:  It was so ironic seeing the One Night Only: The Best of Broadway television special a couple of nights prior to watching The Prom. Amazing live performers who then are not even cast in this major television musical theater event.

JAKE: Did you google if any performers from the original cast were in the movie?

AMELIA:  I did a quick search, and it seemed that the lead of the show auditioned but was not given the part. The musical/book writing team were able to contribute though.

JAKE:  Well at least some artistic members were recruited to add to the tv production.

AMELIA:  That song LOOK TO YOU where the principal, who’s a theater lover, sings to Dee Dee the Broadway star.  It had me crying – just broke my heart. So profound and an homage to the theater people. I actually googled the lyrics and printed them up.  Check out part of the chorus:

We look to you

In good times and bad

The worlds you create

Make the real ones seem less sad

The curtain goes up

And every now and then it feels as if we’re coming home again

JAKE: Beautiful.

AMELIA:  I gotta admit, I thought I was going to be bored and the content would not be that appealing for me. I’m no longer that interested in watching shows about teenage angst – as we’ve been through so much of that ourselves in real life.  Need a break from angst, you know what I mean?

JAKE:  Ahhh, yeah. As the kids would say, “for sure!”

AMELIA:  The writers did a good job though of exploring a person’s evolution into older age with the contrast of teens just starting out. And everyone in between. So it ended up appealing to a wide range of ages.

JAKE: It even appealed to me and I don’t watch sappy stuff unless you make me! 

AMELIA:  Also, the final big number was very reminiscent of Hairspray and High School Musical. A little too similar. Personally, although there were some clever lyrics and a good feel storyline, many of the songs didn’t move me or engage me the way that the songs in Hairspray do. They were performed and produced wonderfully well, but for me not always lyrically interesting or meaningful enough for my taste.

JAKE:  Well, you have to stop comparing every musical to West Side Story.

AMELIA:  So hard not to. That was such a brilliant piece of musical theater in every which way.  It’s kind of like once you’ve eaten Haagen Daz ice cream, Friendly’s and Edy’s just don’t cut it.

JAKE:  Once you’ve eaten the best, it’s hard not to compare the rest.

AMELIA:  Ooh!  That’s a good lyric hon.  Write it down!

JAKE:  You write it down – you’re the songwriter, not me..:)

AMELIA: Hey, maybe I’ll write a musical about ice cream. Get Haagen Daz or Ben and Jerry’s to put up the money and offer free samples for every patron who walks into the theater. 

JAKE: That’s such a funny idea.  Can you imagine all the theater goers eating ice cream while watching the show?


JAKE:  Okay, I gotta get to sleep.  Big meeting tomorrow.

AMELIA:  Good night hon.  Happy musical theater dreams…:)



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