Venice Theatre presents “Zombie Prom” July 28 through Aug.12

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Venice Theatre presents “Zombie Prom” July 28 through Aug.12

The New York Daily News calls it “fun for the whole nuclear family!”
(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; 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.###

Zombie Prom

Music by Dana P. Rowe
Book & Lyrics by John Dempsey
Based on a story by John Dempsey & Hugh Murphy
Production Team

Music Director: Peter Madpak
Stage Manager: Lisa Million
Scenic Designer: Brian Freeman
Sound Designer: Dorian Boyd & Jaclyn Ledoux
Lighting Designer: John Andzulis
Costume Designer: Jonathan Hall


Toffee: Natalie Taylor
Jonny: Beckett Pfanmiller
Josh: Casey Berkery
Jake: Ben Hoermann
Joey: Noah Roderiques
Coco: Claudia Hassler
Candy: Taylor Reister
Ginger: Patty McGuire
Mother/ensemble: Megan Hartnett
Father/ensemble: Alex Gruendl
Miss Strict: Angela Benardo
Eddie Flagrente: Nethaneel Williams
Ensemble: Alyssa Passick, Alex Gruendl, Alex Godiner, Jonah Duchesne-Shaw, Belle Babcock, Kristina Marier, Priya Pankhaniya, Anna-Sand Lambert, Sami Wilde, Bailey Scott


VT SummerStock began in 2007. It is a high-energy musical theatre “boot camp” where company members are immersed in all areas of the craft. The program is designed for high school and college-aged students planning to move into the world of  professional theatre.  Through SummerStock, the theatre helps students transition from high school to college and beyond.

While enrolled in the program, students develop and strengthen their singing, dancing and acting skills while also working backstage in areas such as set building, costume construction and marketing. Participants are trained by professionals to professional standards via workshops, classes and the rehearsal process.

Students who are accepted into the program attend for seven weeks at the theatre Mondays through Fridays from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The program culminates with a MainStage musical. Brad Wages is Director and Choreographer. Peter Madpak is the Musical Director. Wages has been with the Summer Stock program since 2008.  Madpak is a key teacher and musical director for all ages at VT.

Additional information can be found at or by calling Sandy in the Education and Outreach Department at 941-486-8679.

About Venice Theatre

Venice Theatre is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a dramatic impact on all stages of life. The second-largest of 10,000 community theatres in the United States, it is located at 140 W. Tampa Ave. in Venice, FL. Its MainStage offers seating for 432 patrons and features musicals, plays, concerts and special events.  Its Yvonne Pinkerton Theatre seats 90 patrons and is home to the theatre’s “Generations,” Stage II and Cabaret Series. In addition to providing entertainment to the community, Venice Theatre offers a wide range of education and outreach programs for children and adults.


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