The Prom is on at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, with even more laughter than glitter and choreography far better than Edgewater Indiana (or anyone who went to real prom) has ever seen. Heroine Emma wants to take her love, Alyssa to the prom, and the Hoosier state isn’t having it. Enter a handful of aging Broadway performers in need of good press, and watch hijinks ensue.
While there is much in the script that is riotously over-the-top — the eccentric New York drama queens, the colorful outfits, a halftime Godspell-backed performance at a monster truck rally — there is equally real representation of the struggle between generations, the inner emotions of young adults coming of age, the ignorance that, if left unexamined, can tear families and communities apart.
Upon coming out, social outcast Emma is not only turned out of her home by her parents, she is effectively kept out of prom festivities, all dressed up at an empty gymnasium with no one to dance with. Popular Alyssa is terrified to tell her image-obsessed mother who she really is, and is unable to show up in support of Emma in any real capacity, much less herself. And then, there is the Broadway entourage: always out to save the day with self-driven intentions, always landing far from the mark.
But fear not, any moments of deep thought are quickly peppered with adorable and/or witty and or/ridiculous dialogue + theatrics. The result is a no-tears evening of entertainment – unless you are laughing so hard you cry. Because everything really does work out in the end: judgmental Edgewater sees the light, our Broadway angels learn a lesson in selflessness and get their wings, and Emma and Alyssa find the courage to stand in their truth.
The venue is a refreshing departure from packed city theatres and pay parking: the ramp here is free, every seat yields a good view, and, if you come for the meal prior, there is ample selection of well-prepared food and drink brought to you with a smile. The singing is effortless, the dancing skilled, and the live orchestra a treat. So, if you missed your high school prom now is your chance to go to one that is likely even more memorable. You can dress up or you can dress down; you’ll have a ball either way.
The Prom is on stage February 10 to June 10 at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Tickets start at $60.