The cast of Broadway’s The Prom musical gave the LGBTQ community something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day.
Actors, including leads Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla, burst out of the theater and into the streets for Macy’s big holiday parade Thursday. Closing out their performance of the big number, Kinnunen and McCalla shared a kiss on live television, which appears to be the first same-sex kiss in the parade’s history.
“The first #LGBTQ kiss in the Parade’s history,” cast member Josh Lamon wrote on Twitter. “We here at @ThePromMusical have never been so proud. #LoveIsLove.”
“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,” the musical’s producers Bill Damaschke, Dori Berinstein, and Jack Lane told EW in a joint statement. “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.”
The Prom tells the story of high schooler Emma (Kinnunen) in small-town Indiana who wants to take her girlfriend Alyssa (McCalla) to the prom, but the small-minded PTA decides to cancel the dance altogether. When theater stars get wind of this, they head on down Emma’s way for support — though, they may have other reasons for whipping up some positive PR.
Susan Tercero, the parade’s executive producer, told EW the selection process for which theater show to highlight “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. “They typically like to see a show that they know and love like My Fair Lady. But then you have shows that are really relevant that are new to Broadway, like Mean Girls. Then you have Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, which everyone will recognize every single song from that show, and it will be a celebration of Donna Summer herself.”
Sure, the same-sex kiss sparked homophobic remarks on social media, but it brought joy to many others.
“At Macy’s, we are guided by our corporate values of Acceptance, Respect, Integrity and Giving Back,” a rep for Macy’s told EW. “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.”
Directed by Casey Nicholaw, The Prom is currently running on stage at New York’s Longacre Theatre.
This article has been updated with a statement from Macy’s.