1/29/20 – Q & A by Natalie Carmolli for The Fishbowl:
When I heard that on Saturday, Feb 8, Central Park Players (CPP) was having a fundraiser called “The Awesome 80s Prom”, I was more than a little dubious that this would be an event I’d enjoy. After all, the 80s were not a time that some of us actually wish to revisit…
However, despite the more recent actions of our congress, I also know that being fully informed is often the best way to scare away the demons that may be lurking someplace in your sub consciousness. So I sat down with CPP board member Darcie Beekman, to get a little clarity on some pressing questions I had concerning this single-evening bounce back in time, as well as some of the more practical questions one might have when attending a theatrical performance. Here is how the conversation went:
Natalie: Thanks for taking some time to clear up some nagging questions I’ve had that have, frankly, made me a bit hesitant to get a ticket to The Awesome 80s Prom.
Darcie: No problem! The Fishbowl is such a great resource for arts and entertainment information, this seems like the perfect place to get the word out! I can see where some people might be a little nervous about going to a Prom, but this event is shaping up to be so much fun, I’m sure you’ll be a believer by the time we’re done here!
N: My first question is pretty simple, how long does the prom last? Since it’s not a conventional play or musical, should I prepare for a longer evening?
D: It’s completely up to you! Although it’s a theatrical event, it’s also a fundraiser, so we’ve built in a full evening of entertainment for our ticket buyers. If you want to attend the whole evening, the pre show begins at 7:00 and all festivities end at 11:00 pm.
N: Sounds like a long time to sit in a chair, will there be an intermission?
D: There is no intermission – but don’t worry! The “show” itself starts at 7:30 and is only 90 minutes long.
N: You said something about it being a fundraiser, what are you raising funds for?
D: The Acacia Auditorium at the Grand Haven Community Center, where we perform our season, desperately needs a new stage floor. We are raising funds to help pay for that.
N: That’s fantastic, what a great way to give back to a community asset that so many people use. Makes me want to dance and sing. Is the show a musical?
D: While there is music, there is no structured singing of any kind – but who can’t help but sing along to those 80s songs?
N: Is there audience participation?
D: Yes, there is. This is an interactive show in the same style of Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding. But you can be involved as you want to be. The actual show is scripted and unscripted, in the unscripted parts we do things like get the audience dancing, vote for prom king and queen…nothing too difficult for the audience.
N: So, it’s a play, like a dinner theatre? I mean, what the heck is an awesome 80s prom?
D: It is a play, yes. But also a little different, while there will be food, it is not like a formal sit down dinner kind of meal that one tends to think of when “dinner theatre” is said. Think of it as everything a high school prom would be, and more…you’ll get an interactive show, you’ll laugh, you can eat, drink, dance, and be as involved as you like!
N: Okay, so, it sounds like I get a little food with my ticket, what else is included in my ticket price, and what should I bring extra money for?
D: Your ticket gets you into the preshow, the show, it gets you food and you get to participate in the dance party after the show. You’ll want extra funds to purchase drinks at the cash bar, get tickets for raffles, 50/50 and for the amazing prizes available in our silent auction.
N: If I didn’t buy a VIP table, where will I sit?
D: All tickets purchased come with a table and seat. It’s just a matter of where they are located in the room, and service levels.
N: Do I have to wear prom attire?
D: 80s prom attire or 80s fashions are encouraged, but not required. Feel free to simply dress up in whatever you have in your closet, and to have a lot of fun.
N: So, if it isn’t in the actual theater, where is it located?
D: It’s in the Macatawa room in the Grand Haven Community Center at 421 Columbus Street. That’s the big banquet room across from the theater. It’s where Grand Haven High School has had their prom!
N: Okay, I’m in, it actually sounds…well…awesome! Give me the rest of the details.
D: It’s Saturday Feb 8. Bar opens and pre show starts at 7:00, show at 7:30, and dancing from 9-11. Tickets are $40 person or $75 couple. Must be 21 or over to attend. To purchase tickets or to get more info, contact the Central Park Players box office at 616.843.3906. If available, tickets will also be sold at the door.