Friday, August 28, 2009

The Awesome '80s Prom

If you decide to go check out the Daisy's Madhouse production of Awesome '80s Prom, I recommend you dance.

Don't go to Awesome '80s Prom for the script. Half the time, there isn't one -- it's got a very loose storyline and is mostly improvised.

Don't go for the deep characterization. This is about high school in the '80s, and as groundbreaking as Breakfast Club was, most of the characters in Awesome '80s Prom stick to the other film-making conventions of the period -- they divide up pretty neatly into brains, athletes, basket cases, princesses and criminals.

Don't go for the plot. Sure, there's a few little plot devices, like the happy ending for the nerds (I'm not giving anything away there. You all would have seen it coming a million miles away). But there's not much more than that.

But do go to dance. Go to talk to the actors and see how they ad lib. Go to vote for prom king and queen and influence the show's outcome.

It's much more fun if you dance. In a way, I got to relive high school for a night. But I got to be someone else. In high school, I didn't dance with the bad boys. I didn't sneak a drink from anyone's flask at prom. I didn't get invited to Dungeons and Dragons night. The cheerleaders certainly never screamed with delight when they saw me coming. That all happened at Awesome '80s Prom, and it happened because I danced.

The cast -- Leta Neustaedter, Jared Hallock, Eric Cole, Andrea Haskett, Katie Preston, Erin Van Engelen, Terry Heying, Tony Dragatoyu, Dan Aalbers, Valerie Baugh, Erin Westfall, Lee Vander Boegh and Brandon Bilbao -- do a creditable job of improvising and ad libbing. It's an impressive skill to see an actor do well, so even if there isn't much to the plot or the character development, it is fun to see the cast all reacting as their characters would to anything you say to them.

Awesome '80s Prom runs for one more night at 8:00 Aug. 29 at the El Korah Shrine on Idaho Street across from the Record Exchange. Costumes are optional.

No comments: