Kids at New Rochelle High School get a theatrical workout every year.
Some kids arrive for school early and enroll in the PAVE curriculum, earning a special designation on their diplomas. It means more work, but they’re used to that. New Rochelle routinely stages more than its share of shows, including a fall play in dinner theater fashion, a spring musical, another play and student-directed scenes.
Already this school year, New Rochelle has staged John Cariani’s charming and unpretentious “Almost Maine” and the wonderful chestnut “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
And now for something completely different: “Zombie Prom,” the campy spin on those 1950’s teen movies. It’s part “Grease,” with a nod to the subversive feel of “Hairspray.”
Jonny Warner, a student at Enrico Fermi High School, is so distraught when his girlfriend, Toffee, breaks up with him that he throws himself into the cooling tower of the Francis Gary Powers Nuclear Power Plant. He is buried in a lead coffin in the ocean. But that’s not going to keep him from returning, as a zombie, and asking Toffee to the prom.
It was fun watching director Scott Zimmerman think on his feet to add drama (and an appropriate amount of campy, gasping reactions) to the pivotal prom scene. At one point, he urged the kids to think like telenovela actors.
The show is wickedly funny and deliciously over the top, as you can sense in this Running Lines video.