Homecoming musical arrives at Providence Performing Arts Center with an inclusive message

Broadway is back in full force, and Prom brings music lovers back to the seats of the theater with a big-hearted comedic production that offsets the heavy, modern subject matter of issues within the LGBTQ+ community. This limited viewing takes place at PPAC from March 8 to March 13.

Inspired by the Itawamba County School District’s 2010 prom controversy, Indiana teen Emma faces backlash from parents and the student body at her request to bring his girlfriend at the prom. Broadway stars Dee Dee Allen and Barry Glickman, Juilliard School graduate Trent Oliver and backing vocalist Angie Dickinson join forces after career failures to find a cause to help their public image and stumble upon the history of Emma on Twitter, seeing a personal connection to their own stories. Emma fights the school’s ban on gay proms and the homophobic parent-teacher association.

Fresh off Broadway, the 2019 Drama Desk Award winner for Outstanding Musical was scheduled to kick off his nationwide tour in the creative capital in February 2021, but was delayed due to COVID-19, according to Playbill. After debuting at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio, the musical is scheduled to tour twenty cities through September 2022.

For the cast of twenty-seven, two members feel right at home performing at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Ensemble member Olivia Rose Cece and Emily Borromeo as Angie are no strangers to the city’s theater scene.

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“It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time in my career,” says Cece.

Cece, who trained as a competitive dancer at the Atwood Performing Arts Center in Cranston, has come full circle and returned to her home stage. “Coming back in a professional setting is very surreal.”

Borromeo, a graduate of Brown University, returned to the state where she began her journey. As a business student, she explored the world of theater with the encouragement of teachers and classes. After finishing his studies, his “what next?” the move was to New York to begin auditions.

After a nearly two-year hiatus, audiences and actors feel like they’re part of the show.

“We need the audience, it’s like another character in our show,” says Borromeo. “Like our characters, the worlds we live in… we are different from each other, we are sometimes divided. It’s about finding where we can continue to build bridges and connections and get to know each other to build a better world for all.

Whether it’s a date night, a girls’ night out, or a family outing, there’s something for everyone in this show. High school students from area schools even dressed up for opening night in prom attire for a fun night out.

“We use sparkly costumes and dresses to connect with something we relate to, but as the story unfolds we see the deeper message,” Cece explains. “Prom, for me, is an analogy with life. Everyone has a place at our ball. I think no matter who is sitting in the audience, little by little they see that. No matter how you feel inside, no matter what character you identify with, we all find our lives through the show.

Tickets for Prom are on sale at ppacri.org until March 13. Prices range from $20 to $89. Proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test result taken within seventy-two hours of the performance is required for guests aged twelve and over. Masks should be worn at all times unless you are actively eating or drinking.

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