IVCC Theatre Department to present new musical, ‘The Prom’ – Shaw Local

The Illinois Valley Community College Theatre Department presents the new Broadway musical, “The Prom,” April 13 through April 23.

“The Prom” features a cast of community members, former and current professional actors, students and staff.

“We’re so thrilled to have landed this new title,” said Don Grant Zellmer, IVCC’s director and choreographer of musical theatre. “‘The Prom’ was on Broadway in 2018 and 2019, and I absolutely couldn’t have found a better cast to bring this exciting show to life.”

“The Prom” was so popular, Netflix produced a film version starring Meryl Streep in 2021 that received critical acclaim, as did the Broadway production when it was nominated for six Tony Awards and named a “New York Times Top Pick.”

The central story of “The Prom” is based on an actual event, when a high school prom in Mississippi was canceled because a senior honor student asked to bring her girlfriend to prom.

“That, however, is where the reality part ends,” Zellmer said. “The musical’s creators built on that, and created a wild story line that begins in New York when four ego-fueled and unaware Broadway actors—whose show opens and closes on the same night—decide to become ‘celebrity activists’ to repair their images. They travel to conservative, small-town Indiana (where the story was relocated) and make the situation go from bad to hilariously worse. The combination of these two worlds colliding skewers—and has a lot of fun—with the entire spectrum from ultra-conservative to ultra-liberal, with unexpected and side-splitting results., but common ground is discovered by a love that unites them all.”

“The Prom” features Matt Valle, Tracey Childers, Natalie Verucchi and Jake Jakielski as the four Broadways stars. Valle recently returned to the area following a long career on stage both in Los Angeles and Chicago, and the others bring professional credits with them as well.

At the center of everyone’s attention are the high school seniors, Emma and Alyssa, played by IVCC students Zoe Starkey and Lexi Johnson.

“I think this may be one of the funniest and heartwarming productions we’ve produced to date,” said David Kuester, IVCC Theatre and Speech professor who produces the show. “It’s such a unique and fresh musical. From traditional big Broadway numbers to the pop score of the actual prom, it’s truly just a joyful experience. We’re honored to be one of the first colleges to be granted the royalties.”

“The Prom” plays Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. April 13 through 23. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for ages high school and under.

Online reservations are available at www.ivcc.edu/theatre, or may be purchased the date of each performance at the box office beginning one hour prior to showtime.

Audiences should note “The Prom” contains infrequent coarse language and contains adult themes (rated PG).

The musical is directed, choreographed and designed by Zellmer, produced and costumed by Kuester, with technical direction by Chad Brokaw and musical direction by Alex Guerrero.

Cast members include Zoe Starkey and Courtney Atkinson, Princeton, Tracey Childers and Lexi Johnson, Ottawa, Ethan Darrow, Alassandro DeLeon, Bree Ninis, Madysen Koesler, all of Streator, Jake Jakielski, Marseilles, Matt Valle, Natalie Verucchi, Brian Towne, Alyce Scott, Don Grant Zellmer, all of LaSalle, Kelly Johnson, Seneca, David Zuniga, Oglesby, Jennifer Walk, Hennepin, Austin Hack, Wenona, Gennaro Piccolo, Spring Valley, Crystal Credi and Zoe Bush, Peru.

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