|(Venice, FL) Venice Theatre’s SummerStock program is proud to present the campy musical Zombie Prom on the theatre’s MainStage Friday, July 28 through Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Curtain is at 7 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $25 for adults, $14 for college students and $12 for children. They are available now at VeniceStage.com; 941-488-1115; or in person at the box office located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. on the island in Venice. Summer box office hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and one hour before show time. Zombie Prom is generously sponsored by The Boone Law Firm and The Edmund and Elizabeth Campbell Family & Education Fund.
Zombie Prom, with music by Dana P. Rowe; book and lyrics by John Dempsey; and based on a story by John Dempsey and Hugh Murphy, is a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the familiar good-girl-falls-for-bad-boy romance. Set in the 1950s at Enrico Fermi High (named for the Italian physicist and creator of the first nuclear reactor), the 1993 stage musical was loosely inspired by the 1950s horror comic book and also spawned a 2006 movie musical.
The story goes like this: Enrico Fermi High is ruled with a firm hand by a zany, tyrannical principal (Angela Benardo) who is a stickler for “Rules, Regulations and Respect.” She lays down the law as a pretty senior named Toffee (first played in the New York City workshop by a young Kristen Chenoweth and played by Natalie Taylor at Venice Theatre) has fallen for the class bad boy (Jonny without an “h” Warner played by Beckett Pfanmiller). Family pressure forces Toffee to end the romance, and her ex charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns a glowing zombie very much in love and determined to take her to the prom.
Add the sub-plot of a tabloid journalist (Nethaneel Williams) who wants to earn ratings by telling Jonny’s sensational story, and you have the recipe for a show that will strike adults’ funny bones, appeal to teens’ interests in zombies and romance, all while remaining tame enough for the youngest children in the family. Director/Choreographer Brad Wages says it’s the perfect summer show. “It’s cleaner than Grease and even more fun,” he says. He adds, “We’re encouraging patrons to dress up. Wear an old prom dress or tuxedo. Dress like a zombie. Or do both!”
The New York Daily News called Zombie Prom “Fun for the whole nuclear family!” and The New York Times described it as, “A gentle send up of the teenage romance films…given a radioactive glow of novelty.”
Note: The SummerStock cast will also perform their own original cabaret, Zombie Serenade, Songs in the Key of Aaaiiieee!, as part of the 5th Annual Summer Cabaret Festival on Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 10 and 11 at 11 p.m.###