Happy Daze

The setting -- just before the explosive 1960s -- allows for some dark humor in portraying teens the way they were, so harmless compared to today's truly perverse student body. When the theater audience is called upon to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance, a torrent of memories rushes back A of a cheerier time when the worst thing that could happen in high school was a bad case of acne or breaking up with a steady, not being gunned down by an AK-47 outside the cafeteria.

First and foremost, Prom Queens Unchained is delicious, unmitigated fun. With unforgettable characters, sharp dialogue, and beautiful melodies by Keith Herrmann (who also composed the music for the more traditional Romance, Romance), this show is money well spent, an evening at the theater that cannot be duplicated on film or video. You may even come out humming songs such as "That Special Night," "Corsage," and "Squeeze Me in the Rain," which is more than I can say for the mundane score of Miss Saigon.

The Actors' Playhouse production of Prom Queens Unchained is undeniably a work of art, which is why I'm adding it to my short list of the best shows I've seen. Of course the story is ridiculous and is played purely for laughs. But who ever said that art had to imitate torture?

Stage Notes
Under the auspices of the Theatre League of South Florida, the first annual Stages of the Sun Theatre Festival is now up and running from May 15 through June 15. During this time audiences can purchase a festival membership card for as little as $25 and receive major discounts on festival offerings at theaters throughout Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Also included for special rates are events such as the ninth International Hispanic Theatre Festival and an ongoing program of works in progress (sketches, skits, and full-length plays) presented at various locations. For more information call 375-4634.

For a schedule of works in progress call 547-5414, ext. 251.

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