Starr’s Mill presents ‘Zombie Prom’

Rebekah Livingston (Toffee) and Chase Thomaston (Jonny Warner) rehearse for Starr’s Mill High School drama department’s upcoming musical Zombie Prom.

We just can’t seem to get enough of zombies these days. The decomposed fleshly fiends are popping up everywhere south of Atlanta, whether it’s in television shows, horror conventions and now...Zombie Prom.  Don’t let the title fool you, while Zombie Prom may sound like a teenage horror flick, it’s actually a musical romantic comedy set in the atomic 1950s, complete with an original catchy 1950s style score. Starr’s Mill High school students, under the direction of director David Spearman, will be performing the musical Thursday through Saturday, March 16-18, on the stage at SMHS’s Willie Duke Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at the school’s front office or at the door.  General admission tickets are $10, while reserved seating tickets are $20.

The musical tells the story of Jonny Warner, town bad boy, who falls in love with Toffee, the town good girl. When Toffee’s parents forbid her to see him any longer he plunges into the local nuclear waste dump and is buried at sea. However, this is not the end for our anti-hero. He returns from the dead to his girl and his school, Enrico Fermi High, a changed man. A very changed man - he is now a nuclear zombie! Much to the dismay of the principal, Delilah Strict, a woman with secrets of her own. Miss Strict tries all means to stop Jonny from reentering high school and, more importantly, going to the senior prom. Jonny, aided by tabloid journalist Eddie Flagrante, fights for the rights of the undead.

Junior Rebekah Livingston takes on the role of Sandra Dee-like Toffee while junior Chase Thomaston stars as the rebellious orphan, Jonny Warner. Thomaston does double duty, having choreographed many of the shows fast paced dance numbers.

Senior Sarah Burney stars as Miss Delilah Strict, the dictatorial principal who tells Jonny that zombies are not allowed at Enrico Fermi High School — and then warns the students that she will cancel the senior prom if Jonny shows up there.

Junior Jonathan Burns plays Eddie Flagrante, a trash tabloid journalist for whom the story of a persecuted real-life teenage nuclear zombie means a huge boost in circulation. Burns and Burney share a big song-and-dance number that is one of the over-the-top comic highlights in the show.

Sarah Conklin (Candy) and Laura Lien (Coco) have major supporting roles as Toffee’s side-kick, best friends who try without success to convince her that three weeks is more than enough time to mourn. Franziska Harms (Ginger) plays the school “goody-two-shoes kiss-up.” Jonny has his equivalents in Drew Davis (Josh), Jake Troyer (Joey) and Ethan Gallagher (Jake).

Sly, irreverent, and resolutely over the top, it looks and plays a lot like an amped up Little Shop of Horrors.  “Anyone who loves the musical, ‘Grease’ will like this zany, musical comedy” said director David Spearman.

Another highlight is a very fine pit band, under the direction of Dr. John Odom, that includes Mitch Hammond, Kelly Roberts, Stephanie Tan, Daniel Woodhead, and Derek Wolter.

The entire musical culminates with senior prom. Surprise revelations and hilarious lines make for an ending the audience won’t soon forget.