Written by Maryline Chery
We’ve all heard that if we wish upon a star hard enough that our dreams would come true. Well, if we look at Marc Halls’ incredible journey we have to believe it! Fourteen years ago, back in 2002, Marc, a blue haired teen, got into a conflict with the board of his Catholic school when they refused to let him bring his boyfriend of the time to prom by claiming it was an abomination. Faced with this situation, Marc, with the support of his friends and family, decided to take the school board to court and opened a big conversion about freedom and LGBTQ rights. The actions taken resulted in a victory for Marc just a few hours before the start of said prom. This initiative made him a symbol of empowerment for a bigger cause. Although, it’s been years since the historic incident, this real-life story still resonates and thus was made into the fresh and brilliant new Canadian musical known has “Prom Queen: The Musical” premiering at the Segal Centre.
The lights went down and through the darkness, appeared a thousand stars in a blue sky letting the charismatic Alessandro Costantini (impersonating Marc Hall) bring us into his world, sharing with us his most intimate dream. It’s on this note that the show started and kept driving us with energy to its grand finale. Throughout the piece, the ensemble stayed grounded and honest about the stakes at hand and communicated to the audience a true performance asking us if loving someone, independently of their gender, is a choice and if that choice can be a bad one. All the different point of views and contradictory opinions whether from the community, the school board, the church, family members, friends or even Marc himself, gave the play a strong level of truth. This honesty was well communicated through the actors’ interactions and songs. On that note, I would like to highlight the strong performance of Katee Julien (Marc’s mother) during her song in the Catholic Church; it communicated the struggle between loving her own child no matter what and abiding to her faith in religion.
The dance numbers were incredible and well interpreted; the work of the choreographer Sean Cheesman brought energy and magic to this brand new Canadian piece! Every movement landed strongly and continued into a wonderful build-up that was truly enjoyable for the audience. Also, all the original songs were on point. The words chosen conveyed the feelings and thoughts of each and every character. The mix of dance and music was fantastic and struck me as stunning. The actors drove the piece really brought laughter to the audience and left us craving more. The whole cast was so talented and each scene had a number of small details and comedic actions going on in the background contributing to the main story taking place. The attention put on props and the use of the space was incredible. The set changed many times, transporting us through what felt like an infinite possibility of places. In particular, the use of level and light made the play seem even more alive and gave a feel of ongoing action.
The fresh and vibrant new all-Canadian production was a delight to watch. The live band was a pleasure to listen to, the set was gorgeous and the actors were all talented. I would like to congratulate the whole creative team of “Prom Queen: The Musical” for this wonderful work and the Segal Centre for believing in this original production for it is true, fresh and meaningful. Prom Queen The Musical is A wonderful play, a must see in this cold month of November, it will give you all the energy you need to keep going and a feeling of joy that will linger days after you’ve seen the show!
Playing at the Segal Centre of Performing Arts (5170 chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine, Montreal) from October 27th to November 23rd, Monday Night talkbacks with the creators and actors, Tickets: 514.739.7944. Click HERE.