By STUART NULMAN
In 2002, Marc Hall was a typical teenager who was a student at a Catholic private school in his Ontario hometown. However, before the year was out, Hall became a national and international cause célèbre, as his school and the Durham Catholic School Board prohibited him from taking his boyfriend as his date for his school’s prom. As a result, he took the school board to court in order to rescind that decision, which became a rallying point not only for the people of his hometown, but for those around the world who were struggling to exercise their fundamental human rights as an individual.
This is the premise of “Prom Queen: The Musical”, which recently had its world premiere at the Segal Centre and will run there until November 20.
The true story of Marc Hall and his landmark court battle is told in a lively, sensitive, yet boisterous musical format, with plenty of uplifting musical numbers and dance routines that are of Broadway quality. The ensemble cast is second-to-none, to say the least, as they complement each other with how they portray the Marc Hall story with an effective mix of humour, enthusiasm and heart, especially the dynamic Alessandro Costantini in the lead role, Jonthan Cullen as his boyfriend Jason, and a scene-stealing performance by Katee Julien as Marc’s strong-willed, take-no-prisoners mom. As well, “Prom Queen: The Musical” is backed by an all-Canadian group of behind-the-scenes talent that have breathed life into molding this landmark piece of Canadian theatre, such as playwright Kent Staines, director Marcia Kash, choreographer Sean Cheesman, and the team of Colleen Dauncey and Akiva Romer-Segal, who crafted the show’s music and lyrics.
“Prom Queen: The Musical” is a sheer triumph, and is a highly entertaining celebration of the wonders of diversity, acceptance and inclusion. This is a definite must-see!
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Also, the Segal Centre has recently announced a new addition to its string of stage productions for the 2016-2017 subscription season. Ins Choi’s comedy “Kim’s Convenience” will be featured at the Segal Centre for a two-week run from March 8-19, 2017.
The play, which has become the most celebrated and widely seen original Canadian play in recent history, is an autobiographical look at a Korean-Canadian family in Toronto, in which the family patriarch Mr. Kim runs a convenience store, and has to deal with the rapidly changing landscape of his neighborhood, not to mention the gap of values that he has to face between himself and his Canadian-born children. As well, “Kim’s Convenience” has recently been made into a sitcom, which is now airing on CBC Television.
For more information, or to purchase tickets for either show, call 514-739-7944, or got to www.segalcentre.org.