From staff reports
WELLSBURG - When the Brooke Hills Playhouse opens its production of the Dana Rowe-John Dempsey musical comedy "Zombie Prom," the show will have the youngest cast of any full-scale musical at the playhouse in recent memory.
According to director Julia Barnhart of Wellsburg, "We are using a mostly teenage cast, and the oldest actor is 22."
Taylor Bryan, left, David Dudzik and Cliff Welch rehearse for the Brooke Hills Playhouse production of the Dana Rowe-John Dempsey musical comedy “Zombie Prom,” to be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and July 20-21; and at 2 p.m. Sunday and July 22. For reservations and information, call (304) 737-3344.
"Zombie Prom" runs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and July 20-21; and at 2 p.m. Sunday and July 22. For information and reservations, call (304) 737-3344.
Barnhart said youth is a necessary component for a show like "Zombie Prom," because of its physical demands. "We need their high energy, because 'Zombie Prom' is all-singing, all-dancing, all through the show," she said.
A big off-Broadway hit, "Zombie Prom" tells the story of star-crossed lovers, good girl Toffee and bad boy Jonny. When Toffee's parents force them to break up, Jonny runs his motorcycle into a nuclear waste dump, and returns, glowing and undead, to reclaim his love and demanding to be reinstated as a student at Enrico Fermi High School. A strong-willed principal and an unprincipled TV journalist add to the toxic mix leading up to an explosive prom night.
Songs include homages to 1950s rock and pop standards like "Ain't No Goin' Back," "Jonny Come Back," "Blast from the Past," "That's the Beat for Me," "The Voice in the Ocean," "Where Do We Go from Here" and "Forbidden Love."
The cast includes Jamie Szymanski of New Cumberland as Toffee; David Dudzik of Wheeling as Jonny; Taylor Bryan of Wellsburg as the principal, Miss Delilah Strict; and Cliff Welch of Wellsburg as sleazy TV journalist Eddy Flagrante.
Toffee's friends are played by Amy Marosz of Follansbee as Candy; Gabriella Narus of West Middletown, Pa., as Coco; and Emily Fournier of Weirton as Ginger. Jonny's pals are portrayed by Ben Fedoush of Weirton as Joey; Nick Oliveira of Wellsburg as Josh; and Grant VanCamp of Follansbee as Jake.
Other characters will be portrayed by Shyla Stroud of Follansbee as a secretary and a make-up artist, Sierra Mortimer of Weirton as Sheila and Ramona Merengue and Margaret Camilletti of Wellsburg as a secretary and a stage manager. Other cast members will also double as other characters.
The production is choreographed by Elise Shaffer. Nick Taylor is music consultant and Tyler Cooper is technical consultant for the show.
Music will be provided by pianist Roberta Fedoush and drummer Cody Stepanek.
The rest of the playhouse's main stage season includes Agatha Christie's classic mystery, "The Mousetrap," at 8 p.m. Aug. 3-4 and 10-11 and 2 p.m. Aug. 5 and 12; and Ken Ludwig's comic farce, "Leading Ladies," to be performed at 8 p.m. Aug. 24-25 and Aug. 31-Sept. 1, and 2 p.m. Aug. 26 and Sept. 2.
A Spotlight production of a readers' theater presentation of James Montgomery's comedy, "Nothing but the Truth," adapted by Charles Calabrese, will be seen at 8 p.m. Aug. 17-18 and 2 p.m. Aug. 19. Other Spotlight productions, scheduled in the weeks between main stage shows, will be announced as the playhouse's 41st summer season continues.
Tickets for Brooke Hills Playhouse musicals are $12 for adults; $10 for students, senior citizens and groups; and $8 for children younger than 12. Non-musical plays are $10 for adults; $8 for students, senior citizens and groups; and $6 for children younger than 12.