23 Apr
METRMAG Spotlight On: Bud Weber of "The Prom" - Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts (Worcester, MA.)

(COVER PHOTO: The Touring Company of "The Prom" coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. April 26 through May 1, 2022. Photo by Deen van Meer)

By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

Contact: 774-242-6724 


The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

will present the musical

"THE PROM"

"THE PROM" is the joyous Broadway hit that New York Magazine calls “smart and big-hearted” and The New York Times declares a Critic’s Pick!  

Performances:

April 26, 2022 at 7:30pm
April 27, 28 & 30, 2022 at 7:30pm
April 29, 2022 at 8:00pm
April 30, 2022 at 2:00pm
May 1, 2022 at 1:00pm and 6:30pm

Presented at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester.

Tickets are on sale now!  Please contact the box office at  877.571.SHOW (7469) or visit TheHanoverTheatre.org for more information.  

877-571-SHOW (7469) 

info@thehanovertheatre.org

Worcester Center for Performing Arts is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which owns and operates The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.  

(PHOTO: Bud Weber (aka "Trent Oliver") of "The Prom" coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. April 26 through May 1, 2022. Photo Courtesy of the Tour website)

METRMAG Spotlight On: Bud Weber from "The Prom" 

Coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, “The Prom” is a high concept musical with music and lyrics provided by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, a book by Bob Martin and Beguelin and based on an original concept by Jack Viertel

The story is about a small troupe of Broadway “has been” performers longing to revive their fame. 

Learning the story of an Indiana lesbian student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to their high school prom, the troupe travels to the backward-thinking Bible belt town of Edgewater to “lend their support” to the student. 

Of course, the publicity wouldn’t hurt their respective careers, either.

Bud Weber plays "Trent Oliver" a Juilliard School graduate down on his luck but who has just been cast in the non-Equity tour of "Godspell."

Weber, a strong dancer, has performed previously in the shows "Aladdin," "Something Rotten,” "Book of Mormon" and "Wicked." 

"I have been very fortunate to have had these experiences," Weber recalls. "They have all been special and important at different points of my life. 'Wicked' came along while I was still in high school." 

According to Weber, the character of Trent in "The Prom" can "come off a little over eager and excited, arrogant" but emphasizes how, "in the end, he just wants validation and love." 

"I think that you can grab that (aspect) from any character. Figuring out his motivations," Weber says as he recalls his first paid professional gig and which ignited his interest in pursuing acting as a career. 

"My first gig was a show called 'The Best Little Christmas Pageant Ever' and I was hooked from the beginning," Weber says. "That was in Richmond, Virginia. We lived outside of Philly when I was younger, but I did my growing up in Virginia." 

The eldest of five children, Weber had a solid support system when he decided to pursue a career in performing. 

"Always supportive - I think my mom always likes to say I was singing before I was speaking – so it wasn't too much of a shock for my parents," Weber recalls. "I did show choir, shows in school, performed in downtown Richmond. I was fortunate that my parents were always supportive. We would watch old VHS tapes of 'Peter Pan' with Cathy Rigby and other musicals and we always loved them. My parents were always there - they drove me to rehearsals. The whole family has all come to see the show."

(PHOTO: The Touring Company of "The Prom" coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. April 26 through May 1, 2022. Photo by Deen van Meer)

Weber describes the specific function he feels the character of Trent serves in the "Prom" story and how Trent impacts the other characters in the show. 

"I think that a big aspect of the story is how everyone is able to learn from each other,' Weber says. "These celebrities from NYC come to Indiana and, while each side believes they know what IS right, by the end, everybody learns from each other. Trent 'comes in swinging' because he went to Julliard and is a determined guy and, not to give too much away but, toward the end, underneath, he is seen to be a really sweet guy and all he wants to do is change lives." 

Since doing this latest Tour, what has been the most rewarding experience thus far for Weber? 

"It has just been amazing. I love touring," Weber says. "Getting to go around from city to city - and especially with this show that reaches so many people in different ways." 

Weber reveals how getting to travel and meet people, he also "hears" from people via social media about how the show impacted/reflected their experiences. 

"They see something they can relate to," Weber says. "They come to the theatre and see their story (or, at least, a story they best relate to) shared on stage. Wanting to be accepted for who you are is the best message." 

Weber notes how he had previously seen the show before becoming an integral part of its latest touring cast. 

"I had seen a couple of workshops of the show and the Broadway production," Weber says. "The music is great, the story is great. It is just a fantastic show." 

The Prom 2022 Tour is directed by Casey Nicholaw (with whom Weber has worked previously in the shows "Aladdin," "Book of Mormon," "Something Rotten" and now "The Prom"). How much has Weber enjoyed working with the creative team associated with this tour? 

"I love it. They create such a fun atmosphere which shows on stage," Weber says. "Casey, especially, keeps the room lively and engaged always - on and off stage. Just a fun environment. Here you are, you are welcomed, to come in, to make mistakes with no judgment, to enjoy, and that enjoyment is what ultimately shows on stage. It has just been an absolute joy." 

Since the Tour got underway, Weber tries to point to a song or dance number which has become a personal favorite from the musical but finds it keeps changing. 

"Aside from mine (“Love Thy Neighbor”) – You know, I just spoke with the cast about this and it always seems to rotate as to what song stays “in my head” after a show," Weber says. "You’d think it would be the same song but it changes quite often."

Weber is no stranger to the Boston area as he attended Boston Conservatory where he graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre. He also worked at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston and toured with the Boston Pops. He briefly describes his experience performing with the Pops in 2009. 

"We did a Leonard Bernstein concert at the Conservatory and a mini-tour," Weber remembers. "We performed the 'Tonight Quintet' and a lot of other great songs by Bernstein." 

For "The Prom" (April 26 through May 1, 2022) this will be Weber's first time working at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester and Weber says he is, "absolutely looking forward to it" as he speaks to the overall message conveyed from this musical. 

"There is a theme and story of acceptance for who these characters all are," Weber says. "At the end of the day, the show is about understanding and accepting people. Everybody has something to learn – nobody is in the right, nobody is in the wrong." 

Beyond the professional experience, what has become Weber's favorite personal memory having worked with the cast and creative team associated with this tour of “The Prom”

"I just have really enjoyed the cast, who are a special group of people," Weber says. "Most of them I did not know all of them before but it has been such a joy meting new people. I respect them as much off stage as well as on stage. We are blessed to have such a really awesome group of people." 

After the tour concludes, Weber plans to head back to New York City where he says he plans to get settled back into his apartment and then will be hard back at it, returning to, "auditioning and seeing what comes next." 

"You never know what the next thing is, which is what always keeps you on your toes," Weber says. 

Weber says he hopes the Hanover audiences will come away with a "renewed appreciation for theatre and live performances" after seeing “The Prom.” 

"We were all without live theatre for so long (two years)," Weber says, adding "Hopefully we can all continue to enjoy the sound of the orchestra, the singing, dancing, the sound of the applause, even (not to be gross, but) the sight of spit flying off stage – you just don’t get all that from recorded shows. It is all these things combined that gives you a renewed appreciation for theatre." 

Not only for today but for tomorrow.

Approximately 2 hours including intermission

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA)  

@MetrmagReviews 

@Theatre_Critics

(PHOTO: The Touring Company of "The Prom" coming to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. April 26 through May 1, 2022. Photo by Deen van Meer)

"The Prom consistently delivers on its entertainment promises as well as its Golden Age premise: MUSICALS, HOWEVER ZAZZY, CAN ADDRESS THE DEEPEST ISSUES DIVIDING US. Like a certain cockeyed optimist, you may even note a lump in your throat. It makes you believe in musical comedy again!" - The New York Times

Approximate run time 2 hours

"THE PROM"

It’s a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all.

"THE PROM" features direction and choreography by Tony® Award winner & 2019 Tony® Award nominee Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon), a book by Tony Award winner & 2019 Tony® , Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and 2019 Tony® , Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Chad Beguelin (Aladdin), music by 2019 Tony® & Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Matthew Sklar (Elf) and lyrics by 2019 Tony® , Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle Award Chad Beguelin.

Please note, shows and dates subject to change.