Young love may be able to survive disapproving parents and a strict high school principal, but what about death by nuclear reactor? Only in Zombie Prom, a wacky musical that is alive with an entertaining score and great comedy. Especially under Desha Crownover’s direction who has a definite flair for staging the over-the-top theatrics this production dances to.

John Selby stars as his undead namesake Jonny “No-H” Warner, initially generating small waves at school due to his name’s unusual spelling, later radiating huge waves when he returns from the dead following his amusingly staged trip into a nuclear reactor. He wants to finish his senior year at high school – including going to the prom with his widowed girlfriend. This doesn’t go over at all well with the aptly named Principal Strict who doesn’t want to set a bad example by allowing dead people into the school, despite the fact that this dead person is clearly still kicking (and even doing unassisted backward flips!).

But her reluctance is not shared by the students who, after their initial surprise, quickly embrace zombie Jonny with newfound popularity. Especially Toffee (Jackee Bianchi) who is stunned and then intrigued to see her Blast from the Past after grieving for him a few scenes earlier as a Teenager in Mourning. Jackee is sensational throughout, whether belting out her big numbers or leading the show’s humor with her perfect feel for the cheesy melodrama. She and John make for a terrific team – especially in their duet The Voice in the Ocean replete with almost kisses, sung over a drainpipe filled with romantically glowing waste (one of the great set pieces by Junior Theatre alum Gordon McLachlan).

The show is also highlighted by the dynamite vocal work and physical comedy of Cloteal Horne as Principal Delilah Strict, an old prude drill sergeant who loves to torment her students, culminating in her film noir confession revealing her mysterious past. Seth Biberstein is a hoot as the editor who gets the scoop on the teenage nuclear zombie in That’s the Beat for Me and who joins Cloteal in the “confession.” The ensemble is led by Toffee’s trio of friends including the sultry, baton-loving Coco (Alyssa Schechter), the spazzy Candy (Emily Shackelford), and the anti-“crap” girl Ginger (Jill Butterfield) who all work together to such great comic effect. The gifted cast uses body language, facial expressions, and Holly MacDonald’s ghoulishly amusing choreography to animate the appreciative audience, all enlivened by Mia Bane’s mockingly haunting lighting, making this one prom you’d want to see dead or alive – or both.

Performs through November 6, 2005.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
Miss Delilah Strict: Cloteal Horne
Toffee: Jackee Bianchi
Candy: Emily Shackelford
Coco: Alyssa Schechter
Ginger: Jill Butterfield
Jonny Warner: John Selby
Joey: Trevor Johnson
Josh: Robert Dowling
Jake: Kip Eischen
Eddie Flagrante: Seth Biberstein
Sheila: Pia Tuchscher
Guyanna Bedington
Amanda Finlay
Casey Jaquez
Alicia Wong
Ramona Merengue: Lauren Mickler
Motor Wise Guys:
Kevin Barber
Max Gallo
Curtis Gordon
Kiefer Shackelford
Announcer: Kip Eischen
Kevin Barber
Guyanna Bedington
Seth Biberstein
Chelsey Clair
Amanda Finlay
Max Gallo
Jesse Gonzalez
Curtis Gordon
Josh Herren
Devon Hollingsworth
Casey Jaquez
Matthew Maretz
Lauren Mickler
Rachel Rogov
Kiefer Shackelford
Pia Tuchscher
Alicia Wong

Director: Desha Crownover
Choreographer: Holly MacDonald
Set Design: Gordon McLachlan
Lighting Design: Mia Bane
Costume Design: Clark Mires
Sound Design: Robin Whitehouse


Home   |   Awards   |   Reviews   |   News   |   Actors   |   Headshots   |   Theatres   |   Calendars   |   Newsletters   |   Membership
Auditions   |   Workshops   |   Drama Instruction   |   Playwrights/Scripts   |   Vendors   |   Links   |   Advertising   |   About Us