HERSHEY, Pa. — The first national tour of the Tony-nominated musical "The Prom" visits Central Pennsylvania as we push into the new year.
"The laughter, and the fun and the joy and the happiness for that two and a half hours is unmatched," said Courtney Balan, who plays DeeDee Allen.
The 2018 Broadway smash tours to Hershey, telling the story of down-on-their-luck New York stars turning to the heartland to raise their own profile.
"I get to walk out on that stage every night and tell this amazing, beautiful story from this crazy, fun, silly point of view," said Balan.
The Prom is based on a true story from Mississippi, where a lesbian teen was not allowed to bring her girlfriend to the prom in 2010. The show, set in Indiana, resonates in real life across the country.
"A lot of moms and dads saying, 'I was Mrs. Greene and I met someone, or it's my child, I was just open to it and I was taught such a lesson. To be able to go to the individual communities and be available to those young queer LGBTQ youth, to be able to have a voice and be accessible to them is huge to me," added Balan. "It's huge to all of us."
While the story might hit heavy on the teenager's struggle, we get to see the effects on everyone.
"It's represented, both sides on that stage," said Balan. "Both have valid points of where they're coming from. It's about teaching everyone to listen to each other."
The show is not just something the actors perceive is happening--they've seen and heard it from their audiences.
Balan said her favorite stage door story was when a daughter told her mom right after the show was over that she was gay.
"The mom said and felt 'It couldn't have been a better time. I was really ready to accept this information after seeing this joyful expression of what this is.' That's what's so amazing, is to bring it all over the country and see how it can affect people," expressed Balan.
"The Prom" hits Hershey now through Jan. 2. Masks are required during the performance and in the theatre at all times.
For show times and tickets, click here