“The Prom,” Ryan Murphy’s latest Netflix offering, dropped last Friday to much fanfare. As Barry Glickman (James Cordon) asserts mid-film in the rousing “Tonight Belongs to You” number, “Go big or you’ve blown it!” And go big “The Prom” does! With dashing song and dance sequences, vibrant locations and flamboyant costumes (Nicole Kidman’s feathered ensembles deserve a write-up all their own!), the movie is spirited, joyous and full of good cheer – all things the world could use a large dose of right now.
Based upon the Broadway musical of the same name penned by Chad Beguelin, Bob Martin and Matthew Sklar, “The Prom” takes place in small-town Edgewater, Indiana, where brouhaha bubbles when sunny, strong-willed Emma Nolan (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman, who is a revelation in the role!) attempts to bring a girl to her high school prom. Facing a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Emma finds support in the form of four narcissistic but down-on-their-luck Broadway stars – Glickman, Angie Dickinson (Kidman), Trent Oliver (Andrew Rannells), and two-time Tony Award-winner Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep). Hoping to better their public image, the unlikely group of fairy godmothers heads straight to Edgewater (by commandeering a bus of actors traveling through the fly-over states for a non-union tour of “Godspell”) to come to Emma’s aid.
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No filming actually took place in the Hoosier State, though, or the Big Apple, for that matter. Instead, “The Prom” was lensed solely in Southern California, where Murphy and his team, including production designer Jamie Walker McCall and set decorator Gene Serdena, created a stunning visual world using a mix of real locations, soundstage-built sets and a large-scale re-creation of a block of Time Square’s 44th Street constructed on a sprawling empty lot in downtown L.A.
Head over to the gallery for a complete guide to all of the locations used in “The Prom.”