Photo by Breannah Presley

Bright lights, bold hearts, and Broadway bravura swept into Windsor this weekend with Cardinal Music Theatre raising the curtain on the show-stopping premiere of “The Prom.” It’s a tale that not only taps its toes to the lively beat of self-love and courage but also resonates deeply with the vibrant community of Windsor. The dazzling script, peppered with whip-smart laughs and soul-stirring moments, takes center stage, unfolding a riveting narrative about the power of acceptance and the audacity to be oneself.

This high-energy musical extravaganza isn’t just a one-act wonder—it’s set to bring down the house with four more show-stopping performances running from November 9-12 at École Secondaire E.J. Lajeunesse in Windsor.


“The Prom” is about a high school in Indiana where trouble starts when Emma Nolan, a student, isn’t allowed to go to the prom with her girlfriend. This problem gets a lot of attention and soon some Broadway stars who aren’t doing so well in their careers hear about it. They think that helping Emma could be a good way to get people to like them again. So, they leave New York and head to Indiana, hoping that supporting Emma will put them back in the spotlight.

The show has a lot of fun mixing the down-to-earth life in Indiana with the flashy world of Broadway stars. These actors think they’re going to help Emma, but they also end up learning a lot themselves. The story is all about standing up for who you love and having the courage to be yourself. There are plenty of fun songs and dances, but at the heart of it all, it’s a story about people coming together to support each other.

Charlotte Salisbury takes on the role of Emma Nolan, bringing to life a young woman who’s facing tough times with a mix of bravery and hope. Her singing brings out Emma’s spirit, showing how she quietly fights for her right to be herself.

Norma Coleman plays Dee Dee Allen, adding lots of laughs to the show. Her Dee Dee is big and bold, but Coleman also shows us the softer side of her larger-than-life character.

Aaron Bergeron, as Barry Glickman, gave a lively performance, showing us a man who is both full of fun and serious about finding his place in the world. His portrayal makes Barry’s journey feel real, touching on the ups and downs of being true to oneself.

Drew Beaudoin’s Trent Oliver, Bayleigh Cardinal’s Angie Dickinson, and Joe Cardinal’s Mr. Hawkins all had moments that made their characters shine, adding depth to the play’s message. Darien Paré’s Alyssa Greene and Kristina Garswood’s Mrs. Greene gave us a look into the challenging relationship between a mother and her daughter as they try to understand each other.

Those in smaller roles add their own essential touch as well. For instance, Emerson Lobzun-Howe as Kaylee, Max Farley as Nick, Jessie Gurniak as Shelby, and Ty Caloncagong as Kevin, each bring a distinct presence to the stage, adding to the richness of the play.

Let’s not forget John Garswood, who brings the Coach to life with his dedicated performance, and Benji Beaudoin, who plays a quirky, but memorable Motel Clerk, both adding their unique contributions to the overall tapestry of the show.

Then there’s the ensemble, which includes Jen Gurniak among others like Emma Caicco, Jules Walton, Brooke Belanger, and Jennifer Ethier. Together, they create a background of song and movement that keeps the show’s energy high and the audience engaged. Their collective effort highlights the fact that in a production like “The Prom,” every role, no matter the size, is crucial to bringing the full story to life on stage.

The songs in “The Prom” are key to the show’s impact, and the actors at Cardinal Music Theatre really bring them to life. Norma Coleman delivers a standout performance with “It’s Not About Me,” showing off her strong vocal talents. Aaron Bergeron brings a mix of fun and feeling to his song “Barry Is Going to Prom,” making his performance memorable.

Charlotte Salisbury gives us “Unruly Heart,” a song that gently showcases her character’s hopes and dreams. The cast joins in to create a powerful group number that speaks to the show’s themes of unity and acceptance. Bayleigh Cardinal, who has a brief moment on stage in a Cabaret/Chicago lingerie outfit, lights up the stage with “Zazz,” a lively song and dance that captures her character’s spunky attitude. Joe Cardinal and Darien Paré contribute meaningful solo numbers that bring their characters’ emotions to the forefront, adding depth to the musical experience.

The show’s simple set design is effective. It kept the focus on the actors and the story they were telling. This choice proved that sometimes less is more because the audience could concentrate on the songs and the performances without getting distracted by too much going on in the background.

“The Prom” captures the heart of theatre: to tell stories that matter and make us think, all while giving us a good time. With its talented cast and a story that’s both fun and meaningful, this production showed the strength of Windsor’s local theatre scene, proving that a good show isn’t just about flashy sets—it’s about how a story is told and the messages it carries.

With four performances remaining between November 9-12 at École Secondaire E.J. Lajeunesse, the production anticipates welcoming even more patrons to experience its blend of humor, heart, and the timely message of inclusion.

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