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Zombie Prom - Full Length Musical, Comedy

Zombie Prom

John Dempsey, Hugh Murphy, Dana P. Rowe

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Full Length Musical, Comedy

5m, 5f

ISBN: 9780573695797

Music by Dana P. Rowe
Book and Lyrics by John Dempsey
Based on a story by John Dempsey and Hugh Murphy.

"A gentle send up of the teenage romance films...given a radioactive glow of novelty." - New York Times

Also Available - SCHOOL VERSION perfect for Young Performers!

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Full Length Musical


Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romantic Comedy

90 minutes

Time Period - 1950s

Settings Of Play - ZOMBIE PROM takes place in the nuclear fifties. It is set in the hallways and classrooms of Enrico Fermi High School, the newsroom of Exposé Magazine, a television studio, and Toffee's bedroom.


Local Celebrity Cameo, Special Effects

Interior Set

Period Costumes


No Special Cautions


Appropriate for all audiences


High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre


From Off-Broadway

This girl loves ghoul rock and roll Off Broadway musical is set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where the law is laid down by a zany, tyrannical principal. Pretty senior Toffee has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns glowing and determined to reclaim Toffee's heart. He still wants to graduate, but most of all he wants to take Toffee to the prom. The principal orders him to drop dead while a scandal reporter seizes on him as the freak du jour. History comes to his rescue while a tuneful selection of original songs in the style of 50s hits keeps the action rocking across the stage.

"A musical blast!  Fun for the whole nuclear family!" - New York Daily News

"Don't miss it!  Slicker than "Grease", smoother than "Rocky Horror", bigger and funnier than "Little Shop of Horrors!" - WOR

"Exhilarating! Sharp, spiffy, brighter and better crafted than both "The Rocky Horror Show" and "Grease" put together.  It has musical wit and breathtakingly catchy, rich melodies. - New York Law Journal

"Zombie Prom is a breath of freshness and vitality, an exhilarating sign of spring and renewed life in today's musical landscape of spectacles and revivals." - Martin Gottfried, The New York Law Journal

"Zombie Prom (a toxic schlock opera), a feel-good, user-friendly musical comedy (with) its witty, ribald script and clever-tuneful songs..." - The Miami Herald

"The music by Dana P. Rowe and lyrics by John Dempsey are full-bore teen anthems from start to finish, sung by a group of full-voiced singers who slalom down (and up) every melodic curve."
- The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

"ZOMBIE PROM: Kooky, creepy, campy fun...Packed with soupy mock-'50s sock hop tunes and more teen-age turmoil than a John Waters film..." - Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

"This is pure entertainment with a rock 'n roll beat.  The sound is polished, the lyrics are strong...Trash becomes treasure when Rowe and Dempsey reflect on contemporary pop culture." - Key West, Solares Hill

ZOMBIE PROM was produced at The Red Barn Theatre in Key West, Florida in February, 1993.  Joy Hawkins, director; Dana P. Rowe, musical director.



5m, 5f


Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Expandable casting, Features Teens, Flexible casting, Local Celebrity Cameo, Room for Extras


The ranges, doublings and character descriptions in the chart below are only suggestions based on the talent in the New York cast. ZOMBIE PROM has been performed successfully with many different sized casts and vocal types but was originally written for a cast of ten, in which case doubling is needed for the Prologue, I-2 and II-2.



DELILAH STRICT: Female, 35-50 (Range: Mezzo Soprano Belt, G33-A5)
School Principal; icy and hard on the outside with a heart of gold. Should have good comic timing - think Carol Burnett or Bette Midler.

TOFFEE: Female, HS Senior (Range: Soprano Belt, F3-E5)
Good girl from the right side of the tracks. Hopelessly in love with Jonny. Sweet and funny - think Gidget or Sandra Dee.

CANDY: Female, HS Senior (Range: Mezzo Belt, F3-G5)
Nervous and hyper. Always chewing her nails. Think a young Marge Simpson. Can double as Mother's Voice, Secretary, Make-Up Lady.

COCO: Female, HS Senior (Range: Soprano Belt,  F3-G5)
Coco isn't bad, she's just drawn that way. Think Jessica Rabbit with a dry wit. Can double Secretary (Sheila), Stage Manager.

GINGER: Female HS Senior (Range: Soprano Belt, F3-G5)
Class nerd, sweet and means well but she verges on annoying. Think Gilda Radner. Can double Secretary, Ramona Merengue.

JONNY WARNER: Male, HS Senior (Range: Rock Tenor, C3-C5)
Good kid from the wrong side of the tracks.  Sincere and funny. Think Ross from "Friends."

JOEY: Male, HS Senior (Range: Tenor, E3-F4)
Class Jock. Big, handsome and dumb. Think "duh..." Can double Father's Voice, Copy Boy, Motorwise Gasoline Guy.

JOSH: Male, HS Senior (Range: Tenor, E3-Eb4)
The class geek.  Aspiring journalist. Think Pee Wee Herman without the weird voice. Can double Announcer.

JAKE: Male, HS Senior (Range: Rock Tenor, E3-F4)
Probably voted the most popular.  He's sweet and personable and is deeply in love with Candy. Think Richie from "Happy Days." Can double Copy Boy, Motorwise Gasoline Guy.

EDDIE FLAGRANTE: Male, 35-50 (Range: Baritone, D3-Ab4)
Newspaper Journalist; opportunistic tabloid reporter who roots for the underdog and "justice" in the end. Think Geraldo Rivera but with Kevin Klein's comic appeal.

Covered from within the cast or these parts can be assigned separately to expand the cast: Assorted Parents, Secretaries, Copy boys, TV Floor Workers and Singers.

Rental Materials




Classic Broadway, Pop/Rock



1 Piano Conductor Score
20 Vocal Chorus Books
1 Synthesizer
1 Electric/Acoustic Guitar
1 Bass Guitar
1 Drums

SFTracks Available (Additional Fee)

Song Samples

Enrico Fermi High (Ensemble)

Jonny Don't Go to the Nuclear Plant (Toffee, Girls)

Rules, Regulations, and Respect (Delilah, Kids)

The Voice in the Ocean (Toffee, Jonny)

Case Closed (Eddie, Delilah, Jonny)

Isn't it? (Ensemble)


Other John Dempsey titles:

Other Hugh Murphy titles:

Dana P.  Rowe

Dana P. Rowe

Dana P. Rowe is an American composer whose musical theater works have been performed in New York City, London’s West End and around the world.  Rowe’s scores for The Fix and The Witches Of Eastwick, both of which were produced in London by Sir Cameron Mackintosh, earned critical acclaim and Olivier Award nominations for best new musical.  His most recent work, Brother Russia, was a recipient of a ... view full profile

Other Dana P. Rowe titles:

Now Playing
Ryan DuBray 8/5/2015 10:07 AM
Scarlett LaVite 10/10/2013 5:03 PM
This musical is a crowd pleaser!  Everyone loves the 50's and zombies, so it is a draw from the moment the curtain opens until the confetti falls at the end!  It is very witty, quick, fun, and intricate.  There is room for a tight cast, or a nice added ensemble.  I have had so much fun putting the show together with my students, and we all have such fond memories of our Zombie Prom!

Meryl Federman 5/17/2013 10:28 PM
"Zombie Prom," a quirky Off-Broadway musical from the 90s, is a beautiful and heartwarming send-up of "Grease" and the entire culture of 1950s nostalgia that spawned it. The setup is familiar: a "good" girl falls in love with a "bad" boy, and social pressures conspire to keep them apart. The music has the same ear-worm quality and the dialogue has a similar sound to what you may know from "Grease," the clear inspiration. However, this story immediately shows a biting tongue-in-cheek intelligence by having our lovers meet during an air raid drill - the blithe acceptance of the ridiculous era's frightening undertones is made to look absurd. When Jonny Warner (our bad-boy hero who has jettisoned his name's "customary h") is zombified by the ubiquitous radiation of the Atomic age, that tone is set. The result is a story enjoyable on all levels - as a romantic comedy about a smart, science-minded girl and her boyfriend who happens to be dead, or as a scathing critique of the dominant 1950s society. Whether you're on board for the social criticism or not, the moral of this story is beautiful - love should never bow to stigma, and you should never give up on your dreams.

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