A celebration of love and acceptance

The Community Players present ‘The Prom’

Theatre Review by IDA ZECCO
Posted 4/17/24

This musical gem effortlessly blends toe-tapping tunes with a powerful message of love and inclusivity. The Community Players of Pawtucket wraps up its 102nd season with “The Prom” based …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

A celebration of love and acceptance

The Community Players present ‘The Prom’


This musical gem effortlessly blends toe-tapping tunes with a powerful message of love and inclusivity. The Community Players of Pawtucket wraps up its 102nd season with “The Prom” based on an original concept by Jack Viertel, with book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and music by Matthew Sklar. The production runs for a second weekend, Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 21, at 2 p.m.

Four Broadway stars are in desperate need of a new stage after the disastrous opening of their latest show. So when they hear that trouble is brewing around a small-town, Indiana prom—and the press is involved—they know that it’s time to put a spotlight on the issue…and themselves. The town’s parents want to keep the dance on the straight and narrow, but when one student wants to bring her girlfriend to prom, the entire town has a date with destiny.

The vibrant characters of “The Prom” are a testament to the magic of Broadway. As does Dee Dee Allen with her diva antics played to perfection by the very talented Jennifer Gillis. Move over Meryl Streep! Gillis sets the stage on fire in her 11th hour number “The Lady’s Improving,” uplifted by an all-male chorus.

Barry Glickman’s unexpected vulnerability, in his “Barry is Going to the Prom,” is a delight to witness. Barry is portrayed by the hysterical, vocally accomplished Mitchell Burns who wears his heart on his sleeve and his tiara slightly tipped to the side. Burns does a great job in holding back and allowing Barry Glickman to be a real person and not a caricature.

Michael Evora, as Michael Hawkins, the Principal of the Edgewater, Indiana high school where the prom is to take place gives an outstanding performance as the kind, empathetic voice of reason. Hawkins serves as a wise seer - not only for the students for whom he deeply cares but also for the Broadway stars who besieged his town. His vocal rendition of “We Look to You” is a beautiful, soulful reminder to all performing artists.

Nancy Kimble is point-on as Mrs. Greene, the straight-laced, unwavering mother of Allysa Greene who has not yet come out-of-the closet. Kimble’s portrayal of the fearful parent of those different from what is deemed acceptable or “normal” is a sorrowful mirror of a world still marred by bigotry. However, Ms. Kimble’s curtain call t-shirt was not missed - separating an excellent character portrayal from the person/actor.

Giana-Manzi Hiniker as Angie adds shine and sparkle in her song and Fosse-style dance number, “Zazz.”

As the story unfolds, we see the transformative power of empathy and understanding, reminding us that love knows no bounds. This is exquisitely demonstrated by Katherine Kimble as Alyssa Greene who has yet to “come-out” and is caught between her love for her mother and her love for her prom date, Emma Nolan, played by Kylie Chartier. The two have marvelous voices and well-honed acting chops. The bond between them is palpable. Ms. Kimble displays an ambiguous frailty that is touchingly told in her vocal number, “Alyssa Greene.”

The Greene/Nolan relationship is the crowning feature of this production. And Kylie Chartier is one of those rare actors with absolute authenticity, vocal and acting acuity displaying courage, determination, joy and energy on stage with every movement and every song. Chartier as Emma Nolan, the girl who just wants to attend the prom like every other kid, is the epi-center of this musical and sustains that position from curtain up to curtain call. Chartier’s is a performance worth the price of the ticket particularly in her musical numbers, “Just Breathe” and “Unruly Heart.”

However, I must emphasize that every character in this production is outstanding. Under the direction of Christopher Margadonna, not one actor on stage is a weak link. Margadonna provides a masterfully flowing production filled with solid performances and lots of heart. Teaming up with sensational musical direction by Maestro Joseph A. Carvalho, the multi-talented orchestra provided superb accompaniment to the vocal talent on stage. The choreography by Julie Gillis, was a breathtaking spectacle, seamlessly weaving together movement and emotion to create moments of pure magic on stage. From energetic ensemble numbers to intimate duets, every step tells a story which captivated the audience, leaving us in awe.

The production has a minimal set and lighting design by Andrew Lugo and Adam Ramsey which is genius. Nothing distracts from the characters. And Stage Manager Alyson Conroy commands an efficient and effective crew.

In this reviewer’s opinion this is the best community theater production of the season (musical or non-musical) - hands down! “The Prom” will lift your spirits, touch your heart, and leave you with a smile that lasts long after the curtain falls. In a world that seems so divided, “The Prom” is a shining beacon of unity and acceptance; it’s a celebration of diversity, friendship, and the universal need to love and be loved. Bravo to the cast, crew, and especially to Christopher Margadonna, Director, for delivering a truly unforgettable night of theater.

What:  The Prom

Who:  The Community Players

Where:  Jenks Auditorium, Division Street, Pawtucket, RI (Across from McCoy Stadium)

When:  April 19 & 20 at 7:30 p.m. and April 21 at 2 p.m.

Tickets:  $30.00 for adults and $18.00 for Students (with valid ID)
                  Discount rates for reservations of 10 or more

Information/Box-Office: www.thecommunityplayers.org or 401-726-6860


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here