Broadway vs Movie: Which version of “The Prom” is better?


Source: The Prom Musical While “The Prom” musical may be off of Broadway, you can currently watch the movie version on Netflix.

Ash Reynolds, Clubs and Organizations Editor

With prom season coming to a close, it is time to put up the prom movies until next year.

Before you say goodbye to the prom season, you may consider watching Netflix’s version of “The Prom,” which is based on the Broadway show of the same title. 

So, the question arises: which version is better?

While it does eventually come down to personal preference, there are some factors to consider when comparing the two. 

However, before making any decisions, one must first understand the storyline.

Both versions of “The Prom” follow Emma, a lesbian trying to attend the prom with her secret girlfriend. The only problem is, the Parent-Teacher Association relating to her school will not allow a same-sex couple to attend prom together.

This problem is exacerbated when this Association decides to cancel the prom all together, which catches the attention of millions across the country, including a group of failing Broadway stars.

These Broadway stars decide to try to help the girl, not understanding the challenge they are taking on. To make matters worse, Emma’s secret girlfriend, Alyssa, is actually the daughter of the head of the Association.

Now that a basic understanding of the story is developed, it is possible to compare both versions of the show.

Obviously, one major detail to look at is the music choice.

As is often the case with movie adaptations, there were two songs added to the tracklist for the movie version, both in the credits.

“Wear Your Crown,” is an upbeat song that serves to wrap up the film, containing vocals from many members of the cast. On the other hand, “Simply Love,” is purely a post-credit scene, and is entirely sung by James Corden, who plays Barry.

While both songs are extremely catchy, they add little to nothing to the actual plot. 

Unlike other adaptations, there are no songs cut entirely. However, the portions that were cut added fundamental aspects to the Broadway show, particularly in the relationship between Emma and Alyssa. 

The main victims to these cuts were “Dance With You,” and “You Happened,” which both had the endings taken out. While it may not seem like much to lose, the endings of both of these songs work to further highlight the couple’s relationship, building chemistry between the two.

In fact, the movie version showed little romance between the two at all. While aspects of their relationship are depicted, the energy between the two did not show as much love as the Broadway version.

Despite the problems with the movie “The Prom,” there are some major bonuses to the film. These bonuses take place through the added storylines and scenes, mainly displaying Barry’s life.

During the beginning of the movie, there is a scene on a bus that serves to add humor to the movie, while also creating an internal conflict for Barry. 

While the humor aspects did not serve many plot points for the film, it was refreshing to see, as many of the comedy scenes from the Broadway show did not make the cut for the film.

However, the most impactful added storyline comes during the later half of the movie. 

Throughout the movie, it is slowly revealed that Barry ran away as a child due to fear that his parents would discover that he is gay. Knowing this, his friend Dee Dee attempts to convince him to go visit his parents.

When Barry refuses to do so, Dee Dee brings his mother to him, allowing them to redevelop their relationship. While these scenes do take time away from the original plot of the movie, they allow viewers to have a deeper connection with Barry.

When determining which version of “The Prom” is better, it ultimately comes down to what you value in a production.