The Atlanta company of “The Prom” featured (front, from left) Broadway regulars Christopher Sieber, Beth Leavel and Brooks Ashmanskas. Photo: Greg Mooney / Alliance Theatre

The world premiere musical The Prom, which opened the Alliance Theatre’s 2016/17 season, has set a Broadway opening.

According to The New York Times, the show will open Nov. 15, 2018, at an unspecified Shubert theater. The Prom is one of at least seven shows planning a 2018/19 opening even though this season is relatively new.

The Shubert Organization owns 17 of Broadway’s 40 theaters. Six house mostly plays. The Majestic (The Phantom of the Opera) and the Music Box (Dear Evan Hansen, 2017’s Tony Award-winning best musical) likely won’t be available. That leaves the Ambassador, Booth, Broadway, Broadhurst, Imperial, Longacre, Gerald Schoenfeld, Shubert and Winter Garden as potential homes.

The Prom — now being called “Broadway’s musical comedy with issues” — was conceived by producer Jack Viertel. It tells the story of an Indiana high-school student named Emma, who becomes an outcast and makes national headlines when she wants to attend the prom with her girlfriend. The prom is canceled, and the well-meaning efforts of some fading celebrity do-gooders create chaos in Emma’s Indiana town.

Caitlin Kinnunen played Emma in the Alliance run. Photo: Greg Mooney / Alliance Theatre

The show features a book by Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Chad Beguelin (Aladdin); music by Matthew Sklar (The Wedding Singer); and lyrics by Beguelin. Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy ChaperoneThe Book of Mormon, Something Rotten!) directs.

In Atlanta, the cast was led by Broadway regulars Brooks Ashmanskas, Beth Leavel and Christopher Sieber, with Caitlin Kinnunen (The Bridges of Madison County) as Emma. There’s no word yet on casting for Broadway.

Critical response to The Prom was mixed to positive. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called it “a crowd-pleasing spectacle with a well-intentioned message”; Variety said “think Fun Home meets The Drowsy Chaperone.”

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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