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'Zombie Prom': a nuclear musical

"Zombie Prom" starts its second weekend with shows at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the CAST Theater.

CAST's production of the musical is directed by Mark Steighner and features over a dozen local actors and musicians.

Featured among them are Bob Ratcliff as Eddie Flagrante, persistent tabloid reporter; Maureen Regalbuto as stringent high school principal Delilah Strict; Hans Severinsen as teen rebel Jonny "Without-an-H" Warner; and Clara Cook as the love of young Jonny's life, prom queen shoe-in Toffee.

The story unfolds during the 1950s at Enrico Fermi High School, named after the inventor of the atom bomb. Teenage orphan Jonny Warner falls in love with Toffee, but their relationship is stifled by the pressures of society.

"'Zombie Prom' is a great summer family show," said Steighner. "There are lots of laughs, upbeat music and identifiable characters. Although the plot might sound a little dark, the tone is light and not at all morbid."

With music by Dana P. Rowe and book and lyrics by John Dempsey, Steighner described the extensive score as a energetic blend of rock-n-roll, ballads, funk, "and, of course, show-biz musical theater songs as well."

Steighner compared the show to popular musicals Little Shop of Horrors and The Rocky Horror Show, in that it satirizes horror and science fiction films from the '50s with help from a rock score.

Also appearing in the production are Keith DeHart, Ky Fifer, Erik Steighner, Traci Johnson, Melissa Pappas, Jenny Rodriguez, Celeste Ferrell and Sarah Shephard, along with musicians Mark Steighner on keyboard, Iskra on bass and Chris Merrill on drums.

Zombie Prom runs through Aug. 11 on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. at the CAST Theater in downtown Hood River. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 in advance, and are available at Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River, Collage of the Gorge in White Salmon and Klindt's Book Sellers in The Dalles.

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