Typical viewers of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade can usually expect performances from casts of hit Broadway musicals, but this year’s production took many people by surprise, Entertainment Tonight is reporting. Alongside Broadway classics like My Fair Lady, a number was performed from the musical The Prom. The Prom tackles the subject of homophobia by telling the story of a girl named Emma, who is not allowed to attend her high school prom with her girlfriend, Alyssa.
The cast of the show performed the song “Dance With You” for the 92nd Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, and the number ended with a kiss between Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla, who currently play Emma and Alyssa respectively. While the live kiss garnered some backlash on social media, it was also celebrated by many. With so many people buzzing about the kiss, a representative for Macy’s decided to issue a statement.
“At Macy’s, we are guided by our corporate values of Acceptance, Respect, Integrity and Giving Back,” said the rep.
“We hope that viewers found the 92nd Annual Parade entertaining with its traditional mix of signature balloons, fantastic floats and performances from the nation’s best marching bands and musical acts. We look forward to next year.”
As for those involved with the musical itself, they were ecstatic about having the chance to perform. Cast member Josh Lamon wrote on Twitter that the cast and crew “have never been so proud.” Producers Bill Damaschke, Dori Berinstein, and Jack Lane also released a joint statement that applauded Macy’s for having them on.
“Broadway’s The Prom is grateful to Macy’s and NBC for their acceptance and inclusivity of a community and a story that is about acceptance, tolerance and love,” they said.
“These are some of the themes reflected in our musical comedy and we are very proud to be the very first LGBTQ kiss on the Thanksgiving Day Parade.”
Other performances came from the cast of hit musicals like Mean Girls and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. The Prom sparked the most discussion by far, however. Susan Tercero, the parade’s executive producer, said they decided to showcase musicals that “comes from what’s really happening on Broadway.”
“We like to be able to debut the best of Broadway, but we also like to show those viewers what they want to see,” she said.
The decision to air the kiss seems to have paid off, with many posts on social media supporting the kiss outnumbering any criticism it received. For those who want to see the musical in person, The Prom is currently showing at New York’s Longacre Theatre.