Tony Award-Winning Actress Stars in Hit Musical, The Prom
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Tony award-winning actress, Beth Leavel, about her new hit musical, The Prom.
"Build a prom for everyone. Show them all it can be done. If music blares, and no one cares, your unruly heart loves. Build it now, make people see how the world could one day be. It might come true, if we take a chance. But 'til that day comes, I say cue the drums. It's time to dance! What? What? You're clapping for yourself? The Prom! That's The Prom? Yes. That's The Prom. And this is Beth Leavel? Leavel. Who plays Dee Dee Allen? In The Prom? Correct. Playing at the...? ...Longacre Theatre. Over on 48th Street? 220 West 48th Street. Give us the background on this prom? It's a new, original musical. It got fantastic reviews. The story is there's four, let's say "divas" in the Broadway community, who... the show opens on a musical called Eleanor Roosevelt: The Musical. It is... [laughter] So exactly. It's a terrible failure. Yeah. We're a bit narcissistic. A bit self-involved. And we need a cause. We decide we need a cause to get our names back in the press. So we start twirling through Twitter to see what we can do. It's like, "Habitat?" "No, my back." "No no, Hunger?" "It's too big. Too much work." And we come across this story about a lesbian girl in Indiana who wants to take her girlfriend to the prom, and the PTA blows up. And we go, "That's it!" So we get on the bus and we go to Indiana to save her and save the community, and lo and behold! Don't they save us! What a great premise! Who wrote this? Bob Martin. Chad Beguelin wrote the book. And Chad Beguelin also wrote the lyrics. And it was directed by Casey Nicholaw. And Matt Sklar wrote the music. And our CD comes out so soon. And it's some of the best music you have ever heard on Broadway. And your character, describe Dee Dee? Dee Dee Allen. I call her Dee Dee Diva. Let's put it this way. People go, "What's the difference between Beth and Dee Dee Allen?" I go, "Dee Dee Allen carries her Tony Awards with her at all times." [laughter] "In her purse." Hold on one second. You've done 13? I know. 13 Broadway shows. I mean who...? I... did you, like, right away, you come here from...? Where the heck are you from? Raleigh, North Carolina. And you said... I thought you said you, quote unquote, "looked Italian"? If anyone's offended by that, I apologize. No, that's... I... because I am. Thank you. No I... and you said, "No. I'm French. I'm this. I'm that." I know. Then you're from Raleigh, North Carolina? I'm Southern. You come to New York when? Right after grad school. Okay. So it was... years ago. Did you work right away? I... kind of..."