Footloose the Musical: Theatre 308 Revisits a Musical Classic
Theatre 308’s latest musical is a blast to the past. It is being directed by Middlesex Middle school English teacher Mr. Tim Sorensen, who has directed many shows at the middle school.
The show is set in the small Midwestern town of Bomont, Oklahoma. An energetic teenager named Ren McCormack moves from Chicago to Bomont and is disappointed when he hears that singing and dancing are banned. He wants to start a new life in Bomont but he will have to teach the town how to enjoy music first.
The people of Bomont have to deal with their own emotional baggage: It’s revealed early in the story that the entire town was rocked by the death of four teenagers in a car accident several years before Ren arrives. Reverend Shaw Moore, the town leader, lost his son in that accident. Because of the accident, he tries to protect the town by outlawing many behaviors that he thinks are dangerous to children, including dancing. Ariel, the Reverend’s daughter, also struggles with her brother’s death and deals with her grief by rebelling against what her father and the town wants for her.
Auditions for Footloose began on December 13th and the cast list was officially posted on the Theatre 308 bulletin board on December 15th. Senior Nick Servas plays Ren. Originally played by legend Kevin Bacon in the movie version, Ren is an iconic role. Reverend Shaw Moore runs Bomont, and is played by senior Jack Savage. Senior Lexi Staubi plays Ariel, the Reverend’s daughter. “Lexi will bring the perfect depth of character to this role, playing sweet and innocent in one moment, and pugnacious and fiery the next!” Mr. Sorensen said. Senior Isabel Larino plays Vi, the Reverend’s wife. “Isabel’s rendition of Vi creates a tremendous sense of calm and strength in the face of so much pain and struggle.” Mr. Sorensen said.
Ariel’s best friends, Rusty, Urleen, and Wendy Jo, are played by Sophia Talwalkar, Kailey Anderson, and Shannon Flaherty. Ren’s best friend in Bomont is the feisty country boy Willard, played by junior Grady Allen. Always ready for a fight, Willard is a loyal friend who always has the perfect one-liner. Bad boy Chuck Cranston, Ariel’s rebellious boyfriend, is played by Sage Gillespie. A high school drop-out, Cranston immediately creates problems for Ren when he arrives in Bomont. The cast will provide several comedic moments and sing the tremendous 80s rock anthems we all know and love.
There are three stage managers for this production: sophomore Skyler Bennett, junior Anan Durango, and junior James Cherico. Juniors Justin Mossa and Amina Mobarik are the chief set designers and heads of the creative team. Set crew plans to build a massive elevated platform built to look like a train bridge. It will serve as the backdrop and chief set piece for the entire show and it can act as restaurants or other locations. Other pieces will create the church, Reverend Moore’s house, and other locations that the crew will move in between scenes.
“The way we will build the town of Bomont is painting the sets with faded colors to give the idea that Bomont is an out-of-date town” Mossa said. Bomont is an rural working town so the sets will look “industrial”. “The set is insane, I honestly don’t think we’ve built anything this large-scale at DHS, at least in my career, and while it’s daunting, I look forward to it!” Mobarik said.
Sophomore Sophie Howard is the chief costume mistress. Unlike “Mr. Burns” where the costumes are from the future, the costumes for “Footloose” are from the past. The costumes will highlight the trends of the eighties, such as leopard print, neon and varsity jackets. They will also feature western clothing like ten-gallon hats and cowboy boots. Costuming will also point out the differences in socio-economic classes in Bomont. Key details from the movie will be included to give the show that special, nostalgic feel. Fans of “Footloose” will be delighted to see that 308 will give “Footloose” a fresh revisit.
On the surface, Footloose the Musical is a high-energy dance show that taps into some of the greatest music of the decade. However, the best part of this show is the depth of character and changes in mood throughout the story. “When people think of Footloose, they think of Kevin Bacon and one of the most iconic movies of the 1980s” Mr. Sorensen said. “One minute, the audience will be jamming out to classics like “Holding out for a Hero” or “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”. Then, they will be taken on an emotional rollercoaster as the show examines the struggles that come with handling loss, ranging from the death of a son/a brother/a friend to the abandonment of a father.” It has many memorable moments that the audience will hold onto after they see it. Junior Kishan Patel said, “It has a dancing and a singing, also someone oughta tighten their feet”.
Go see “Footloose the Musical”on March 22nd, 23rd, and the 24th!