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No foolin' — Sheldon presents prom for all ages

Prom-goers can relive the fashions, music and fun of past decades April 1 at the Sheldon Theatre. (Submitted photo)

The Beach Boys or the Bee Gees? Madonna or Donna Summer?

Regardless of which musical era you enjoyed growing up, the Friends of the Sheldon promise there will be dancing music for you at the first Adult Prom, April 1 at the Sheldon Theatre.

A fundraiser for Red Wing's historic theater, the Adult Prom will have a professional DJ playing music of the past half-century, according to Anna Ostendorf, Friends board member and prom chairman.

Each hour, starting at 6 p.m., will feature songs from a different decade so participants can get on the Sheldon stage and dance the moves that were part of their lives in the past.

And since it's prom, everyone is welcome to dust off their prom dresses, suits and tuxes for the night, Ostendorf said. Another option is to dress representing your favorite decade, she added.

Throughout the evening, there will be food, beverages and games to play.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with music of the 1950s and 1960s, a time when "rock 'n' roll, doo-wop, pop, swing, rhythm and blues, and psychedelic rock" defined the times, Sheldon spokesmen said.

The 7 p.m. hour will bring music of the '70s — the age of disco. Prom goers will "get down and boogie" to the sounds of Donna Summer, the Bee Gees, ABBA, KC and the Sunshine Band, and more, the Sheldon said.

From 8-9 p.m., dancing music will be provided by the likes of Prince and Madonna, David Bowie, Culture Club and others.

The night will end with music from the 1990s and beyond.

Prom activities will take over the main floor of the Sheldon, Ostendorf said. Liberty's will serve "heavy appetizers," she said, plus there will be a chocolate fountain with fruit and cookies. Two cash bars will be set up.

"We will have a prom cash station," she said. People will be able to purchase prom cash using a credit card, then use the prom dollars for purchases and games.

In keeping with tradition, the event will have a prom king and queen — to be crowned at 8 p.m. Participants will "vote" for prom royalty by making a donation in their favorite couple's name.

A couple of candidates already have been announced, Ostendorf said: Pat and Ellie Kelly, and Julie Martin and Jeff Chalmers. Others are welcome. "Anyone who is interested in running for prom royalty should contact Jennifer (Staley) at the Sheldon," Ostendorf said.

Another way to spend prom dollars will be the balloon pop. Balloons will be sold for different prices; inside each will be a prize worth at least the purchase price. Most prizes are gift cards and certificates for service.

People also will be able to request their favorite songs from each era for a $5 donation.

It's the Sheldon's first Adult Prom, Ostendorf noted.

"We thought this would be fun, something a little bit different" for their spring event, she said. "It's not often you have an opportunity to dance in Red Wing" — especially not on the Sheldon stage.

"We want to get people out to enjoy themselves and the Sheldon and to raise money," she said, stressing that "Everyone is welcome."

Friends of the Sheldon is the theater's fundraising arm. Its mission is to support the Sheldon and community theater activities such as Phoenix Theatre, Arts Alive, summer puppet picnics and similar events.

The goal is to raise $5,000 toward the $70,000 that the Friends provide to the theater on an annual basis, Ostendorf said.

If the Adult Prom is a success, it could become an ongoing event.

Tickets are $25 each or $40 per couple, including food and dancing. Visit the Sheldon box office, go online to or call 651-388-8700.