Friday evening was the opening for Playcrafter’s production of ZOMBIE PROM. The night was just as the title suggests, a silly fun night for teens. A light-hearted romp, Erin Tiffany and Zach Heller lead us through the romantic tale of these teen star-crossed lovers, when fate takes a morbid turn, and the walking dead end up escorting us to the prom.
Set in the 1950s, ZOMBIE PROM is set at the Enrico Fermi High School, where we meet the high school sweethearts, Jonny (Zach Heller), the rebel in the leather jacket sans “H”, and his faithful girlfriend Toffee (Erin Tiffany). At the unyielding hand of her strict parents, Toffee breaks it off with her leading man. In a brash display of heartbreak, our hero ends up throwing himself into the nearby Nuclear Power Plant, and thus a Zombie is born. The antics ensue as Jonny the Zombie now returns to school to reclaim his true love and his high school diploma.
Erin Tiffany was a sweet Toffee. Already very experienced on the stage, she sang beautifully, especially her ballad, “Easy to Say.” Zach Heller was terrific as the bad boy Jonny. He had excellent presence, and commanded the stage, a true leading man. His transformation into a teenage Zombie bore an eerie resemblance to Heath Ledger a la the Joker in Batman, giving me a just a twinge of the appropriate willies for this show. Another stand out performance was by Philip Seader as Eddie, the fiery cub reporter.
Originally opening in 1996 Off-Broadway, ZZOMBIE PROM is a tribute to some of the greats: the Shangri La’s Leader of the Pack, GREASE and Michael Jackson’s Thriller. And speaking of Thriller, kudos to choreographer Suzanne Rainear for inserting the zombie dance from the infamous video into the number, “Where do we go from here?” It did not go unnoticed or unappreciated by those of us over 18 in the audience! Great support from the orchestra, and the talented kids in the supporting cast who made this fright night fun and festive!