Doo Wop Meets the Living Dead in UH Production of ‘Zombie Prom’
It’s a love story for the ages. Boy meets girl. Girl’s friends don’t like him and persuade her to break up with him. Boy then drives his motorcycle into a nuclear power plant and emerges as a love hungry zombie. It’s certainly a twist on the usual tortured teen love story. Soon, audiences can share in this strange romance during the University of Houston’s production of “Zombie Prom.”
Presented by UH’s School of Theatre & Dance, this family-friendly musical runs Oct. 28 – Nov. 6 at the university’s Cullen Performance Hall (Entrance 1 on University Drive).
Directed by UH alumnus and Alley Theatre actor Paul Hope, “Zombie Prom” transports audiences back to the 1950s. They’ll meet love-struck teens Jonny (a rebel without a cause turned atomic zombie) and Toffee, as well as other characters at Enrico Fermi High School. Will zombified Jonny become the clean teen Toffee needs him to be? Will these two kids make it to the prom? Or, will the most important night of their teenage lives be ruined?
“It’s a fast-paced show that is very much like a 1950s pulp comic book,” Hope said. “It plays on the period’s nuclear hysteria and everyone was building bomb shelters and schools had civil defense drills. Also, it was a time when monsters in the movies were created by nuclear fallout.”
The show takes its musical cues from late 1950s popular music (Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, Gene Pitney and others) and will be choreographed by guest artist Rob Flebbe.
“Zombie Prom” premiered in Key West, Florida in 1993. In opened off-Broadway in 1996 and made its London premiere in 2009. A short film based on the musical was produced in 2006 starring RuPaul and Katy Mixon (of CBS’ “Mike and Molly).
On Oct. 29, audiences are encouraged to attend an actual zombie prom in UH’s Lynn Eusan Park (right next to the performance hall) that will be held before that evening’s midnight performance. Prom wear or zombie costumes are encouraged. The prom kicks off at 8 p.m. and a “Thriller” inspired flash mob takes place at 9:15 p.m. UH dancers will be available to teach participants the “Thriller” dance. Awards for prom king and queen will be presented at 10:30 p.m.
Tickets for “Zombie Prom” performances are $20, $15 for UH faculty, staff and alumni, and $10 for students and seniors. Show dates and times are as follows.
- 8 p.m., Oct. 28, 31, Nov. 3, 4, 5
- 2 p.m., Oct. 30, Nov. 6
- Midnight, Saturday, Oct. 29
The School of Theatre & Dance is partnering with non-profit organization Zombie Walk Houston. Actors will distribute “Zombie Prom” promotional materials and ticket coupons at the Houston’s Fourth Annual Zombie Walk at 6 p.m., Oct. 22 at the Lanier Middle School Football Field (2600 Woodhead St.). For additional details on the play or the UH School of Theatre & Dance, visit http://www.theatredance.