prom

Stages St. Louis co-founder Jack Lane (center), one of the lead producers on “The Prom” from its Broadway run through the current national tour, along with co-producer Joe Grandy (left) and producing associate Hunter Reglan (right) at the Longacre Theatre when “The Prom” moved to Broadway. | photo courtesy of Jack Lane

UPDATE JAN. 24, 2022: The opening of the national tour engagement of "The Prom" at the Fabulous Fox Theatre has been delayed due to positive COVID-19 tests within the show’s cast and crew. The performances scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 25 through Thursday Jan. 27 are cancelled. "The Prom" will now open on Friday, Jan. 28. An additional performance has been added on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 6:30 p.m. to allow more exchange options for guests. All ticket holders are being contacted directly via email with their options.

Jack Lane of theater company Stages St. Louis has seen “The Prom” musical more than 100 times. Now, he’s thrilled to welcome the national tour to St. Louis.

Winner of two Tony Awards for co-producing “Fun Home” and “The Humans” on Broadway, Lane joined Bill Damaschke and Dori Berinstein as a lead producer after seeing “The Prom” in a regional tryout in 2016.

“It’s pure joy,” he said. “I love being a part of it. It’s like a child is returning home. It’s going to be a proud moment for the local producers.”

Lane is co-founder and executive producer of Stages St. Louis, the 35-year-old professional regional musical theater company whose home is the Kirkwood Performing Arts Center.

After five years of supporting the hit Broadway musical comedy, which garnered seven Tony nominations and won the 2019 Drama Desk Award for outstanding musical, Lane is elated to welcome the national tour of “The Prom” to St. Louis.

“The Prom” will play at the Fox Theatre from Jan. 28 through Feb. 6. Lane is like a kid at Christmastime, eager for opening night to arrive.

“On the tour, people are going crazy for it. It’s fun, it has a wonderful message, and it’s hilarious, with great dance and great songs,” he said.

Lane began co-producing Broadway shows in 2012, the first one being “Peter and the Starcatcher.” He was ready to move to the next level, and has learned a lot along the way.

“It’s like you are CEO of the company and have to take care of every single element,” he said. “I love the challenge, and I have learned so much. It’s been an amazing journey.”

About “The Prom”

The musical draws inspiration from a true story out of the Itawamba County School District in Mississippi, where in 2010, a high school decided to cancel its prom rather than allow a senior student to bring her girlfriend as her date. The case ended up in court, and the girl was eventually allowed to attend, but local parents quietly organized a separate prom for the rest of the students. Several celebrities rallied on social media and helped sponsor a special prom where the two girls could attend without homophobic backlash.

“The Prom” involves four fading Broadway stars who decide to dive into a small-town controversy making national headlines — similar to the incident in Itawamba County — and attempt to grab the spotlight in the process.

After its world premiere at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in 2016, “The Prom” moved to the Longacre Theatre on Broadway in fall 2018. While the themes were embraced then, said Lane, the message is perhaps even more relevant today.

“We’ve been through isolation. We’ve seen intolerance. People feel this story. We’ve been through so much, and people respond,” he said.

“Happy To Return”

According to Lane, audiences are “so happy to return to the theater”  following COVID setbacks. Lane said the live theater industry was especially affected.

“We will get through this. There are challenges. We have to be cautious,” he said, noting his team is following protocols and trying to keep everyone safe.

In the meantime, Lane prepares daily updates, keeps the producing team informed, and deals with whatever needs to be done preparing to take the show across the country — not to mention preparing for Stages’ 36th season with the world premiere of “The Karate Kid,” plus presenting “In the Heights” and “A Chorus Line” next summer.     

“The Prom” runs Jan. 28 through Feb. 6, at The Fox. Tickets are on sale at MetroTix.com.