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What Can You Expect When You Go to THE PROM?

Gary Panetta of The Peoria Journal Star wrote an article about what to expect when you attend THE AWESOME 80s PROM.  Here is a copy in case you missed it.

Backstage:  Are you ready to party like it’s the 1980’s?

 By GARY PANETTA (gpanetta@pjstar.com)

Journal Star

Posted Aug 01, 2010 @ 01:01 AM

Get ready to do your best moonwalk.

“The Awesome 80s Prom” is coming.

The show, which runs 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7 at The Waterhouse, is less like a conventional stage show and more like a nonstop party.

Audience members are encouraged to don their best 1980s retro look as they dance, drink, joke and otherwise interact with a cast of 16 local performers who are trying their hardest to simulate an authentic 1989-style prom at the appropriately named Wanaget High School.

There are speeches, prom nominations, a coronation, announcements, scads of 1980s era music and lots of improvised comedy put on by the usual round of high school stock characters: The Nerd (Tyler McIntyre), the Football Player (Brandon Cheney), the Spaz (Lindsey Cheney), the Drama Queen (Nyk Sutter), the Head Cheerleader (Brit Christensen), the Class President (Kip Burroughs) and so forth.

The show is directed and produced by Wade Dooley and Andrew Driscoll. Driscoll is the owner of The Waterhouse Inc., located on 619 SW Water St., Suite B. Dooley is a former community theater player who is trying to build a professional career in New York City, where he works as a swing actor in an off-Broadway production of the show, which has been running there for about five years.

The rights for “The Awesome 80s Prom” recently became available, and Dooley thought the show would work well in Peoria – a reasonable gamble, considering that Lite Rock 107 has been broadcasting its own Awesome ’80s Weekend for what seems like an eternity.

In any event, “The Awesome 80s Prom” is a big departure from typical musical theater where audience members are simply expected to sit and silently watch. Participation is crucial and the show often works best when people attend in groups. In fact, in New York City “The Awesome 80s Prom” often attracts bachelorette parties or people celebrating birthdays.

“It’s something fun and very different to go to,” Dooley said. “This isn’t a typical theater experience. At this show, you’re encouraged to stand up and dance. In New York most of the people stand the whole time and they’re dancing and interacting with the characters. The more you interact, the better the show is – because the story is going on around you and you have to be observant and pay attention to what’s happening.”

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