You know Dustin Diamond's face. Once known as lovable dweeb Screech on the hit TV series Saved by the Bell, the grown-up actor has been in and out of the public eye for years, be it as a guest on The Howard Stern Show or playing a reality show villain on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. There's one place audiences have never seen him, however: the New York stage. All that changed on May 21, when the actor and media personality began a limited run in the off-Broadway phenomenon known as The Awesome 80s Prom, an interactive dance party and theatrical bash that literally recreates a retro prom for audiences, complete with crowning of Prom King and Queen. “This crazy guy, [show producer] Ken Davenport, had an idea [about casting me] that seemed like it might work," Diamond told Broadway.com just hours before his first performance. "I did not know what to expect when I saw the show, which I loved. And there’s no way to expect what’s coming tonight. But I'm so excited to be a part of it.” Broadway.com followed Diamond for his first day as an off-Broadway star, from greeting fans in Times Square to meeting the press to taking the stage at Webster Hall for the first time. Click through to see Dustin Diamond's graduation from Saved by the Bell to off-Broadway.
Photos by Jenny Anderson; reporting by Kimberly Kaye