The All-Inclusive Prom

All The Way From Broadway To Netflix Film Collection



The Prom movie poster.

Patrick Deliz, A&E Editor

Netflix has brought to life the Broadway musical “The Prom”, creating a fun and showstopping mood with messages hidden deep within the film itself. 


In Edgewater, Indiana, head of the Edgewater High School PTA, Mrs. Greene (played by Kerry Washington), announces the school’s prom will be canceled because female student Emma Nolan (played by Jo Ellen Pellman) wanted to take a girl to the dance, defying their traditional beliefs and much to the dismay of their principal, Tom Hawkins (played by Keegan-Michael Key), who supports Emma.

Meanwhile, in New York City, narcissistic Broadway stars Dee Dee Allen (played by Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (played by James Corden) are disappointed after their show ‘Eleanor! The Eleanor Roosevelt Story’ closes on opening night due to negative reviews. They are comforted by Trent Oliver (played by Andrew Rannells), a Juilliard graduate who is between acting jobs, and Angie Dickinson (played by Nicole Kidman), a performer who has just quit her part in the chorus of Chicago. They realize Dee Dee and Barry need a cause to seem caring and selfless, and after finding Emma’s story on Twitter, they drive to Indiana with the cast of Godspell. 

At school, Emma is bullied and harassed for being a lesbian and for the cancellation of the prom. The actors barge into the next PTA meeting in favor of Emma and while Mrs. Greene is furious, Hawkins reveals he is a big fan of Dee Dee. Emma and her secretly closeted girlfriend, Alyssa (played by Ariana DeBose), Mrs. Greene’s daughter, meet in private and talk about Alyssa coming out to her mother. The actors arrive at a motel and perform at a monster truck rally event, but are booed off the stage. Hawkins tells them the Indiana Supreme Court wants the school to hold a prom for Emma and invites Dee Dee to have dinner with him at Applebee’s, where the pair bond. The next day, a number of prom-posals occur and Alyssa’s cheerleader friends Kaylee and Shelby find out about Alyssa’s plan to come out. At Emma’s grandmother’s house, Grandma Bea (played by Mary Kay Place) reveals Emma was kicked out by her parents at sixteen when she came out, and Barry tells her he left his house before his parents had the chance to make him leave. Afterward, it is revealed that the PTA arranged a separate prom for her, with the real prom being held at a private club. A furious Emma calls Alyssa, who tells her she did not know and she is not ready to come out yet. Dee Dee accidentally reveals they came to Indiana to improve their image. Principal Hawkins is disappointed with Dee Dee. 

The next day, as Angie comforts a heartbroken Emma, Barry tells Dee Dee to get Emma on her ex-husband Eddie Sharp’s show while she tells him to call his mother, Vera, but they both are reluctant. Dee Dee meets up and apologizes to Hawkins and they reconcile. Emma meets up with Alyssa and breaks up with her, despite her apology. Trent convinces the students being gay is not wrong and they agree to apologize to Emma for their homophobia. Dee Dee arrives at the motel and tells everyone she agreed to give away her house in the Hamptons in order to get Emma on Eddie’s show. She turns this offer down to tell her story her way and sings a song she wrote during a live stream, which goes viral online. Trent confronts Kaylee, Shelby, their boyfriends Nick and Kevin, and three unnamed students and persuades them to support Emma with help from the Godspell cast.

Realizing they truly care for her, the actors decide to throw her an inclusive prom themselves and contribute to the budget, including Dee Dee with her American Express Card. Afterward, Dee Dee tells Barry she called Vera (played by Tracey Ullman), who wants to talk to him. Vera tells Barry although she cannot undo what she did, she always wanted a relationship with him, and they make up. Kaylee and Shelby, Nick, and Kevin show up at the gym and apologize to Alyssa and Emma. Mrs. Greene also arrives to stop the preparations for the prom but Alyssa finally comes out to her mother and Mrs. Greene leaves silently. Alyssa and Emma reconcile.

Later that night, Emma and Alyssa show up early to meet with the actors. The students and many teens from the LGBT community show up for support. Angie receives a message about getting the lead role in Chicago, Trent signs on to be the school’s drama teacher, Barry arrives with Vera and is crowned prom queen, while Dee Dee and Hawkins share a kiss and start a relationship. After the dance begins, Mrs. Greene arrives, apologizes, and embraces Alyssa, accepting her for who she is. Emma and Alyssa finally share a public kiss and everyone celebrates. 


According to Playbill, the new musical comedy The Prom, despite opening to critical acclaim last year and earning seven Tony Award nominations this spring, will pack up the streamers. The Broadway production will play its final performance at the Longacre Theatre on August 11. At the time of closing, the musical will have played 23 previews and 310 regular performances.  

“It has been an honor and a privilege to bring this original musical comedy, full of heart and humor, to Broadway with this dream cast and creative team,” said producers Bill Damaschke, Dori Berinstein, and Jack Lane in a joint statement. “Since the earliest days in the journey of The Prom, we have known this story was something special. We are beyond thrilled that our story will continue beyond Broadway.” 

Though the musical will shutter on Broadway, the party will continue as the musical prepares for a national tour (launching in February 2021), secured a licensing deal with Theatrical Rights Worldwide, and is slated to head to Netflix in a movie adaptation by Ryan Murphy.  


I ultimately love the movie, especially the casting. Meryl Streep for being a well-known actress and still in the game is amazing, and to see more promising stars like Nicole Kidman and Andrew Rannells. It’s good to see James Corden still giving his all as he does have a talent for performing. I also appreciate the underlying message throughout the film, I appreciate how realistic and down-to-earth it brings to the reality of being LGBTQ+ and also for what it may feel like to come out to a parent who might have a difficult time understanding that. Overall, it is a great movie and would watch it again, and while it is not the same as the show on stage, I definitely think there are some things that could have been different such as panning out to see the entire dance number, rather than zooming in on the main characters of the film. 

Rating: 3.8/5