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Kalyn West, Courtney Balan, Kaden Kearney, More to Lead The Prom Tour

It’s time to dance—again! The national tour of The Prom will officially launch at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio with performances running November 2–21.

Starring in the musical will be Kaden Kearney (who uses they/them pronouns) as Emma, Kalyn West as Alyssa Greene, Courtney Balan as Dee Dee Allen, Patrick Wetzel as Barry Glickman, Emily Borromeo as Angie Dickinson, Bud Weber as Trent Oliver, Sinclair Mitchell as Mr. Hawkins, Ashanti J’Aria as Mrs. Greene, and Shavey Brown as Sheldon Saperstein. Both West and Balan were a part of the original Broadway cast.

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Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Rounding out the ensemble are Jordan Alexander, Gabrielle Beckford, Ashley Bruce, Olivia Rose Cece, Maurice Dawkins, Jordan De Leon, Shawn Alynda Fisher, James Caleb Grice, Megan Grosso, Chloe Rae Kehm, Braden Allen King, Brandon J. Large, Christopher McCrewell, Adriana Negron, Lexie Plath, Brittany Nicole Williams, Thad Turner Wilson, and Josh Zacher.

Featuring a book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin and a score by Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, and based on an original concept by Jack Viertel, the musical tells the story of an Indiana high schooler barred from bringing a girlfriend to the prom—and the group of eccentric Broadway folk who infiltrate the town in an earnest, misguided attempt to fight the injustice.

Following Cleveland, the tour will make over 20 stops around America, including The Broward Center for the Performing Arts (December 14–19) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; The Kennedy Center (January 4–16, 2022) in Washington, D.C.; Cadillac Palace Theatre (April 19–24) in Chicago, Illinois; and Centre Theatre Group (August 9–September 11) in Los Angeles, California.

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Isabelle McCalla and Kalyn West Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The production features scenic design by Scott Pask, costume design by Ann Roth and Matthew Pachtman, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Brian Ronan, wig and hair design by Josh Marquette, make-up design by Milagros Medina-Cerdeira, orchestrations by Larry Hochman, music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and casting by The Telsey Office.

The producing team for The Prom includes Bill Damaschke, Dori Berinstein, Jack Lane, NETworks Presentations, Natasha Davison, Merry & Jim Mosbacher, Terry Schnuck, Liz Armstrong, Elizabeth L. Green, Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra & Stephen Della Pietra, Seth A. Goldstein, Jane Dubin, Smedes-Stern-Palitz, Fahs Productions, Joe Grandy, Don and Nancy Ross, Three Belles and A Bob, Instone Productions, Fakler-Silver, ArmentTackel, Cliff Hopkins, Larry and Elizabeth Lenke Christopher Ketner, The John Gore Organization, Nancy and Ken Kranzberg, Independent Presenters Network, Mark Lonlow and JoAnne Astrow, Iris Smith, WallaceATxRandomProductions, Garris-Morris-Masie Productions, Judith Manocherian, The Shubert Organization, Karen DeVerna and Jeremiah J. Harris, Fox Theatricals, Adrienne Blackman and Heidi & Stephen Distante.

For more information visit: ThePromMusical.com.

Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: September 29

1921 The operetta Blossom Time opens on Broadway. With a score of Franz Schubert themes rearranged by Sigmund Romberg, the show reaches a then-epic run of 576 performances and spawns four simultaneous touring companies, becoming a perennial moneymaker for the Shubert Brothers.

1934 George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart‘s comedy Merrily We Roll Along introduces the plot innovation of moving backward in time from scene to scene. It runs 155 performances at the Music Box Theatre and inspires a 1981 musical by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth.

1939 Danny Kaye makes his Broadway debut in The Straw Hat Revue, which runs just 75 performances despite a cast that includes Jerome Robbins (as a dancer), Alfred Drake, and Imogene Coca.

1955 Arthur Miller‘s A View from the Bridge opens at the Coronet Theatre. The drama about Eddie, a simple longshoreman driven to acts of brutality and despair by passions he can’t understand, gets mixed reviews and runs only 19 weeks. Martin Ritt is the director of the production, whose stars include Van Heflin, J. Carrol Naish, Eileen Heckart, Jack Warden, and Richard Davalos. Despite its disappointing original run, the play has since received four Broadway revivals: in 1983 with Tony Lo Bianco, in 1997 with Anthony LaPaglia, in 2010 with Liev Schreiber, and in 2015 with Mark Strong.

1960 A jealous man disguises himself to serve as his girlfriend’s paramour—and thereby as his own rival—in the popular musical comedy Irma La Douce, which opens on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre. Elizabeth Seal wins a Tony Award for her performance in the title role.

1962 After six-and-a-half years, the musical hit My Fair Lady closes on Broadway. It played a record 2,717 performances, and its gross receipts were $20,257,000—a record at that time for a musical.

1962 Future Tony Award winner Roger Bart is born. The stage comedian creates memorable performances in The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Triumph of Love, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

1983 A Chorus Line becomes the longest-running musical in Broadway history. After 3,389 performances, it surpasses Grease. The show continues on for a few more years with 6,137 performances as the final total.

1985 Eugene O’Neill‘s classic, The Iceman Cometh, is revived at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. The play, about a group of hopeless denizens in a Lower East Side bar, was originally produced in October 1946 but was overshadowed by Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. It did not receive major recognition until it was produced at the Circle in the Square Theatre in 1955. The cast of that version included Jason Robards, Jr. as Hickey, the traveling salesman, and was directed by José Quintero. The same actor in the same role with the same director make up the new production.

1975 A work by a new-to-New York playwright opens Off-Off-Broadway at the St. Clement’s Church, called Sexual Perversity in Chicago. The play wins the season’s Obie Award for Best New American Play and playwright David Mamet goes on to become a fixture in both Off-Broadway and Broadway theatre.

1999 The Atlantic Theater Company celebrates its 15th season by honoring the work of playwright and co-founder David Mamet. The season begins today with a double bill of The Water Engine and Mr. Happiness. Productions of Sexual Perversity in Chicago and The Duck Variations continue the season, and the topper comes with American Buffalo starring the other Atlantic co-founder William H. Macy.

2001 Gloria Foster, the African-American actor who specialized in classical roles including Medea, Madame Ranevskaya, Mary Tyrone, Clytemnestra, and Titania, dies in New York. She had a late-career success in 1995’s Having Our Say.

2003 Nearly 80 years of theatregoers’ confusion come to an end when Greenwich Village’s Commerce Street is officially renamed Cherry Lane after the Cherry Lane Theatre, which has stood on the short, curved thoroughfare since it was founded by poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in 1924.

2009 Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig co-star in Keith Huff‘s two-character police drama, A Steady Rain, which opens on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. John Crowley directs the play about a pair of Chicago cops whose willingness to blink at corruption leads to disaster.

2016 Simon McBurney‘s The Encounter, based on the true story of a National Geographic photographer who was lost in the remote Javari Valley in Brazil, opens at the Golden Theatre. During the performance, the audience wears headphones and becomes immersed in a world created almost entirely by McBurney’s voice and a virtual radio station full of sound effects. The production’s two sound designers, Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, receive Special Tony Awards for their work.

More of Today’s Birthdays: Greer Garson (1904-1996). Madeline Kahn (1942-1999). Ian McShane (b. 1942). Debbie Shapiro (a.k.a. Debbie Gravitte) (b. 1954). Francis Jue (b. 1963). Lynnette Perry (b. 1963). Darius de Haas (b. 1968). Alfie Boe (b. 1973). Brad Kane (b. 1973). Zachary Levi (b. 1980).

Jenn Colella and Brittany Nicholas Announced for October Masterclasses

Reserve your spot today- a limited number of students are able to participate in each class. Students will get the opportunity to perform for their instructor, get personalized feedback on their piece, and to try out their song another time following critiques. Improve your performance and get the advantage at your next audition with feedback from working Broadway professionals

Schools of the Stars: Where the 74th Annual Tony Award Winners Went to College

“We would not be here if it wasn’t for the arts educators in our lives,” said Josh Groban to his Carnegie Mellon University classmate Leslie Odom, Jr. in a bit from CBS’ Broadway’s Back! concert, the second half of the 74th Annual Tony Awards broadcast. The two sang “Beautiful City” from Godspell, dedicating it to teachers who have had to “work so hard this year to keep students inspired.”

In our yearly Schools of the Stars feature, Playbill takes a look at the colleges, universities, and arts conservatories where the Tony winners honed their crafts.

READ: Highlights From the Acceptance Speeches at the 74th Annual Tony Awards

For more theatre education news and to learn how you can follow in these artists footsteps, click here.

Best Play
Matthew Lopez (The Inheritance): University of South Florida

Best Revival of a Play
Charles Fuller (A Soldier’s Play): Villanova University and La Salle University

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Andrew Burnap (The Inheritance): University of Rhode Island and Yale School of Drama

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Mary-Louise Parker (The Sound Inside): University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Aaron Tveit (Moulin Rouge!): Ithaca College

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Adrienne Warren (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical): Marymount Manhattan College

Best Book of a Musical
Diablo Cody (Jagged Little Pill): University of Iowa

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Christopher Nightingale (A Christmas Carol): Magdalene College, Cambridge

Best Choreography
Sonya Tayeh (Moulin Rouge!): Wayne State University

Best Orchestrations
Katie Kresek (Moulin Rouge!): Purchase College, The Mannes College of Music, and Columbia University
Charlie Rosen (Moulin Rouge!): Berklee College of Music
Matt Stine (Moulin Rouge!): University of Wisconsin
Justin Levine (Moulin Rouge!): New York University

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Derek McLane (Moulin Rouge!): Harvard College and Yale School of Drama

Best Scenic Design of a Play and Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell (A Christmas Carol): Birmingham City University

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Catherine Zuber (Moulin Rouge!): Yale School of Drama

Best Sound Design of a Play
Simon Baker (A Christmas Carol): Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski (Moulin Rouge!): Carnegie Mellon University

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Hugh Vanstone (A Christmas Carol): Did not attend college.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Justin Townsend (Moulin Rouge!): University of Massachusetts and California Institute for the Arts

Best Direction of a Play
Stephen Daldry (The Inheritance): University of Sheffield and East 15 Acting School, University of Essex

Best Direction of a Musical
Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge!): Yale University

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
David Alan Grier (A Soldier’s Play): University of Michigan and Yale School of Drama

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Lois Smith (The Inheritance): University of Washington and the Actors Studio

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill): The New School

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein (Moulin Rouge!): Queens College and University of California, San Diego (and High School of the Performing Arts)

Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: September 26

1898 Composer George Gershwin is born in New York. He writes Porgy and Bess, “Rhapsody in Blue,” Girl Crazy, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Of Thee I Sing, among many other shows and songs.

1911 William Brady’s Playhouse hosts the opening for Bought and Paid For, a new play by George Broadhurst about a wealthy man who eventually wins the love of his wife. During the show’s 431 performances, an actor in the show, Frank Craven, is elevated to stardom. Craven goes on to play the Stage Manager in the original 1938 Broadway production of Thornton Wilder‘s Our Town. Brooks Atkinson once commented that Craven was “[t]he best pipe and pants-pocket actor in the business.”

1933 The first major success of the Group Theatre, Men in White, opens at the Broadhurst Theatre. The show, written by Sidney Kingsley, is about a doctor who has to deal with decisions regarding love vs. duty. Issues include abortion and social reform—the theatre style for which the Group Theatre becomes known. Lee Strasberg directs a cast of what will become a group of very influential people in the theatre: Luther Adler, Clifford Odets, J. Edward Bromberg, and Ruth Nelson. Elia Kazan has only one line, “Hello, sweetheart.” It wins the 1934 Pulitzer Prize for drama and serves as the model for all the hospital dramas to come.

1957 “It all began tonight” at the Winter Garden Theatre as West Side Story opens. The Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents musical is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but has New York teenage gangs pitted against each other instead of Verona’s dueling families. It includes such classic songs as “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.” The show is choreographed and staged by Peter Gennaro and Jerome Robbins, who came up with the show’s original 1949 concept: “East Side Story.” The piece evolved, with new music, a new location, and a new ethnicity to become what it is tonight. Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence, and Chita Rivera star. A film version starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, and George Chakiris (who was a member of the original London cast) is released in 1961.

1968 Robert Shaw‘s drama The Man in the Glass Booth opens, beginning a six-month run that earns it 1969 Tony Award nominations for Best Play, Best Direction (Harold Pinter), and Best Actor in a Play for Donald Pleasance, who plays a Nazi war criminal on trial.

1985 Lily Tomlin stars in Jane Wagner‘s solo play The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, opening at the Plymouth Theatre for a 391 performance run. Tomlin’s performance earns her the 1986 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. 15 years later, Tomlin returns to Broadway in a revival of the play at the Booth Theatre.

1998 Matthew Bourne‘s newly choreographed theatrical version of the ballet Swan Lake, a hit both in London and Los Angeles, begins its run on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre. The dance/theatre show, with men dancing the swan roles usually assigned to women, is co-produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Katharine Doré. Bourne wins two Tony Awards for the show (for Director of a Musical and Choreographer of a Musical) despite the show’s ineligibility as a musical. “I am absolutely astonished,” says Bourne in his acceptance speech. “Best director of a musical that’s not even a musical.”

2013 Cherry Jones, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Zachary Quinto are a family adrift in a sea of memory in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams‘ acclaimed 1945 drama The Glass Menagerie, opening at the Booth Theatre. The critically acclaimed production is directed by John Tiffany.

2015 In Your Arms, a “dance-theatre musical” with a score by Ragtime and Seussical composer Stephen Flaherty, opens at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California. The show is made up of ten vignettes written by Douglas Carter Beane, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Carrie Fisher, David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, Terrence McNally, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage, and Alfred Uhry.

2021 Fifteen months after the originally scheduled date, the 74th Annual Tony Awards are held at the Winter Garden Theatre, the ceremony’s first time back in a Broadway theatre since 1999. Audra McDonald hosts the awards, which stream on Paramount+—a Tony Awards first. Leslie Odom, Jr. hosts a concert celebrating Broadway’s return on CBS directly afterward. Reflecting a season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, just 14 plays and four musicals are eligible for the night’s honors.

More of Today’s Birthdays: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965). Philip Bosco (1930-2018). Mary Beth Hurt (b. 1946). Ben Shenkman (b. 1968).