Set at Enrico Fermi High School, the nuclear-powered musical comedy “Zombie Prom,” presented by the teen Guildlings July 21 to 24 at the Players Guild of Dearborn, is sure to set audiences aglow with pleasure.
Set in the 1950s, with music by Dana P. Rowe and book and lyrics by John Dempsey, “Zombie Prom” takes place in a high school next to an unstable nuclear power plant.
The principal is on a power trip, and the school’s bad boy, Jonny, and good girl, Toffee, fall in love. However, parental and peer pressure forces them apart, and Jonny, heartbroken, hurls himself into the nearby nuclear waste dump. True love, however, knows no bounds, and Jonny reappears in an unexpectedly different form, ready to overcome the obstacles preventing him from reuniting with Toffee and taking her to prom.
The show is directed by Kristen Campbell, with musical direction by Jamee Perryman and choreography by Emma Garber.
Campbell said families will find the show appealing.
“It’s a fun and for the most part upbeat show,” she said. “This show is meant to be outrageous, and we hope the audience will feel that zaniness.”
Campbell said they have worked hard to showcase the talents of all of the cast members, so each of them shines on stage.
“Each of them is talented and special in their own way, and make this show so great,” she said. “They are phenomenal, and that’s not just director bias.”
Campbell said “Zombie Prom” is big, brassy, fun and exuberant.
“Songs like ‘Jonny Don’t Go’ and ‘Blast from the Past’ will leave the audience dancing in their seats,” she said.
Campbell said the Players Guild of Dearborn has followed safety protocols to make it safe for patrons to return to live theater.
“Watching a show online is fun, but it is not the same as being in the audience and feeling the energy from the stage,” she said.
Providing that energy are cast members Giana Lerini as Toffee, Jack Durant as Jonny Warner, Nadia Gallini as Principal Delilah Strict, Noah Trapp as Reporter Eddie Flagrante, Alana Nowlan as Candy, Selah Brace as Coco, Gioia Lerini as Ginger, Kate Veritek as Ramona, Oliver Angel as Joey, Calum Carscadden as Josh and Moogie Fawaz as Jake.
The ensemble includes Margaret Carscadden, Ryan Furchi, Leah Katers, Maeve O’Connell, Allysha Potts and Cassidy Taylor.
Giana Lerini said Toffee’s over-the-top and exaggerated dialogue has been fun to learn, while the number of songs she needed to learn has been challenging.
“The show is almost entirely sung through, and while the songs are hilarious, they were difficult to learn,” she said. “The jokes are funny, and the premise makes fun of the old horror movies.”
Giana Lerini said she hopes audience have fun watching the show.
“The dances are high energy and the dialogue is funny,” she said.
Her sister, Gioia Lerini, agreed.
“Ginger’s dialogue is really funny, and I like playing a nerd/snitch,” she said. “The show has something for everyone, and will definitely get the joint jumping.”
Gioia Lerini said she hopes audiences enjoy the effort the cast put into learning the harmonies, lyrics and choreography, and is glad to see a return to live theatre.
“It keeps the art alive and keeps the storytelling relevant,” she said.
O’Connell said the show is about making the impossible possible through the magic of live theater.
“The show is such a fun and entertaining show, it makes you want to get up and dance,” she said. “I can almost guarantee the songs will be stuck in their heads and they will be singing them on the way home.”
Potts said the Zombie angle is intriguing, and the show is both entertaining and odd.
“We’ve put a lot of work into it, and I hope people find the show to be funny and are blown away by the acting,” she said.
Showtimes for “Zombie Prom” are 7:30 p.m. July 21 to 23, and 2:30 p.m. July 24 at the theater, 21730 Madison St. in Dearborn. Tickets are $15, and are available online at playersguildofdearborn.org.