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Theatre / Zombie Prom

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Jonny Warner, a rebel who spells his name without the customary H, is the new transfer student at Enrico Fermi High School. He falls in love a with good girl named Toffee, the first woman who's ever loved him. Toffee's parents and principal Miss Strict pressure her to break up with him, and when she does, Jonny commits suicide by riding his motorcycle into a nuclear plant. He comes back as a zombie, and wants to take Toffee to the prom. Miss Strict, however, does not want any zombies at her high school ruining the order that she's established. Jonny teams up with fame-seeking reporter Eddie Flagrante to campaign for zombie civil rights. It turns out that Miss Strict has a few secrets in her past that she wishes to keep under wraps...

Zombie Prom was originally an off-Broadway musical, and was made into a much-abridged film featuring RuPaul as Miss Strict.

This production contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of 1950 B Movies
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted with Jonny and Toffee. Ms. Strict and Toffee's parents take him for a delinquent, all because of his motorcycle, leather jacket, and his "defiling of a good Christian name." It never seems to occur to them that Toffee could love him because he's actually a good guy.
    • Ms. Strict qualifies as well. Back in the day, she had a thing for Eddie Flagrante, and if she wouldn't be allowed to go to the prom with him, she wasn't going at all.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: Averted. Was a musical first, and then a film.
  • Angst Nuke: A rare literal example – brokenhearted over Toffee’s rejection, Jonny crashes his motorcycle right into the nuclear plant. As Eddie puts it, “a tragic case of a hormonal imbalance resulting in a class three nuclear disaster!”
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Ms. Strict spends most of the show yelling and impatiently balking at Eddie’s advances, but “Exposé” is when she finally softens and shows some genuine affection for him, laughing and reminiscing about their past. In the finale, she’s only too happy to accept his proposal and rekindle their relationship.
  • Back from the Dead: Jonny.
  • Black Comedy: A staple of the show, given the premise. Toffee’s girls are usually the source, with their attempts to rekindle Toffee’s love life only a few weeks after Jonny’s death.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Done a lot depending on the production.
    • At the very final song Toffee thanks the audience.
  • Big Bad: Strict comes closest to this. At least until the end.
  • Big Entrance: When Jonny comes back during "Blast from the Past."
  • Break the Cutie: Basically Toffee the whole time.
    • The sweet tarts at some points.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Jonny's parents in the movie adaptation are a black mother(Delilah Strict) and a white father(Eddie Flagrate).
  • Counterpoint Duet: "Where Do We Go From Here," though it's an ensemble number rather than a duet.
    • The real counterpoint number is the trio following said number, "Case Closed," which also ends Act One.
  • Da Editor: Eddie Flagrante - especially prominent during the "That's the Beat for Me" sequence.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Jonny is a zombie and a Nice Guy.
  • Dark Reprise: "Then Came Jonny" is repeated at the start of the second act but is much more ominous because everything is going badly. This is Played for Laughs; the final punishment is cancelling the senior prom.
  • Determinator: Jonny, in his efforts to win Toffee back. More sympathetic than most examples of Dogged Nice Guy, because they were actually in a relationship before, she was pressured to break it off and regrets it, and he knows she still loves him.
  • Double Entendre: There's over a dozen of these.
  • Delinquents: Jonny is referred to as a juvenile delinquent, but the most rebellious thing he does is spell his name without the customary H.
  • Driven to Suicide: Jonny.
  • The '50s
  • Final Love Duet: "Forbidden Love"
  • From Nobodyto Nightmare: Jonny, in a fairly literal example. He went from being an average teenager to a nuclear zombie, but he's still a kind character.
  • Greek Chorus: A role filled by Toffee, Coco, Ginger, and Candy. They also seem to double as a Freudian Trio, with Candy as the Id, Coco as the Ego, and Ginger as the Superego.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Anytime Eddie and Delilah are in a room together, expect a titan clash of egos. “Case Closed” and “Exposé” are good examples.
  • Heroic Bastard: Jonny, as we discover. His parents conceived him on their prom night.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Ms. Strict. Though her actions end up causing more harm than good, she seems genuine enough in her desire to keep Toffee and the other students from making the same mistakes she did. And Eddie, who presumably knows her better than anyone, asserts that she’d never be able to live with herself if she mistreated her son. Once The Reveal happens, she instantly and joyfully accepts responsibility for him.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Jonny says this in so many words to Toffee. “I’m no good with speeches, Toffee, I grew up an orphan. I didn’t have the things other kids had: no mom, no dad, no fancy birthday parties with ice cream and cake. You’re the first person who’s ever loved me; it would kill me to think this wasn’t forever!”
  • Intrepid Reporter: Eddie Flagrante, though as the story progresses he seems to become genuinely interested in promoting equal rights for the undead.
  • Letter Motif: Jonny, Joey, Jake, and Josh.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Miss Strict and Eddie Flagrante turn out to be Jonny's parents, though Miss Strict doesn't find out until Jonny does.
  • Meaningful Name: The principal's name is Miss Strict. Toffee is very sweet. Also, Enrico Fermi High school is named after the eminent nuclear physicist.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Candy's full name is Candace, and Jake's is Jacob. Coco's is presumably Nicole.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: When Jonny comes back from the dead, the only thing different is that he is green. He's still fully articulate and has absolutely no interest in cannibalism. All he wants to do is take his girlfriend to the prom.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jonny grew up in an orphanage, and has never seen his parents. Subverted when it's later revealed that Ms. Strict and Eddie are his parents.
  • Parental Substitute: Early on, Eddie takes on a rather parental role for Jonny. Seeing him as more than just a new story, Eddie actually believes in Jonny’s cause and tirelessly fights for him, while encouraging him not to give up on Toffee. As Jonny gleefully puts it, “No one’s ever stood up for me like this before!” Of course, this becomes doubly sweet with the reveal that Jonny is Eddie’s long-lost son.
  • Premiseville: Enrico Fermi High School
  • Resurrected Romance
  • Revenant Zombie: Jonny is one in the "Risen by True Love" sense.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Strict and Flagrante. She’s understandably angry, but still smitten with him under it all, and he knows it. And when she actually slaps him, he hilariously shrieks in a rather girly way.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Parodied with True Blue Cigarettes commercial in "Come Join Us". Ramona Merangue coughs very unsexily at the end of the song.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Delilah is a lot taller than both the female and male members of the cast in the film adaptation.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Strict does this a lot.
  • T-Word Euphemism: "The C Word"
  • Theme Naming: The main female students are named Toffee, Coco, Ginger, and Candy, and the male students all have names beginning with J.
  • The Power of Love: Toffee's undying love for Jonny, even after he commits nuclear suicide, manages to raise Jonny back from the dead as a nuclear zombie.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Delilah is a head taller than Eddie.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Jonny is a lighthearted parody of this. He grew up an orphan, wears a leather jacket, rides a motorcycle, and rebels by... leaving the "H" out of his name. On top of that, he's a perfectly nice guy.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Jonny and Toffee. While Jonny is a cute zombie boy, he's still a rotting corpse.
  • Villain Song: Well, "Antagonist Songs" anyway.
    • "Rules, Regulation, and Respect," sung by Ms. Strict.
    • "That's the Beat for Me," sung by Eddie Flagrante.
  • The Voiceless: Ramona doesn't say anything except for her songs.