Scenario: you‚ve just been dumped by your girlfriend. Do you A) move on, B) try to get her back or C) go home and cry?
If your name is Jonny Warner, your answer is D) throw yourself into a nuclear power plant. So began Bishop Ireton's production of Zombie Prom. Zombie Prom is an off-Broadway musical set in the late 1950's, written in 1996 by John Dempsey and Hugh M. Murphy. It tells the story of Toffee, a high school senior who falls in love with Jonny Warner (spelled without the H), a rebellious orphan with a shady background. When her parents disapprove, she is forced to break up with him, and he, in his grief, throws himself into the nuclear power plant behind their school (named after Enrico Fermi, the father of the atomic bomb).
Jonny comes back from the dead a zombie, only to be rejected by Toffee. Can she learn to love him again, in spite of the whole zombie thing?
Bishop Ireton's show was fun and fast-paced. The high-energy cast did a great job of keeping the show flowing from scene to scene. The music was creative and entertaining, as was the set. An element that stood out especially was the special effects, which always seemed natural to what was going on, but were exceptional nonetheless.
Karen O'Connell did a terrific job as Toffee. Through her excellent acting, the audience was able to fully understand the character and her feelings. Her singing and dancing were also very good. The ensemble created a very clear picture of a group of friends in a high school, their chemistry working perfectly together.
However, a problem everyone had was projection and clarity. The majority of the dialogue is sung, and even though everyone's voice was solid, the lyrics could not be heard or understood. This problem made some scenes in the show difficult to follow.
The technical aspects of the show were awesome, especially for a high school performance. The costumes and make-up were superb, especially Jonny's zombie costume. Lighting was used effectively. The special effects were exceptional, though scattered, incorporating smoke and pyrotechnics for an entertaining end result. The set, too, was creative and very effective. One distracting problem was the sound, with the microphones cutting out during the middle of dialogues or being turned up too high.
Bishop Ireton's Zombie Prom had a very talented cast, who, despite technical difficulties, managed to deliver a very entertaining and enjoyable performance.