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Review

Footloose
by ACT-San Diego
 

The Show:

The blockbuster 1984 movie Footloose, with its equally blockbuster soundtrack, were adapted for the stage by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. It’s a story about the power of dance, freedom, family, and empathy, centering around high school senior Ren McCormack. When his father leaves, Ren and his mother are forced to move from the big city of Chicago to the little Podunk town of Bomont. A small town that greets outsiders with wary eyes. Especially wild, big-city, odd-named kids like Ren who like to dance – a forbidden activity since the death of a carload of local teenagers following a night of dancing and drinking. And it’s a prohibition that the controlling moral force in the town, Reverend Shaw Moore, is determined to enforce as if the souls of everyone, including his own, depended on it.  

The Production: 

Jonathan Edzant and Claire Keefer shake up Bomont in ACT-San Diego’s production at the Carlsbad Cultural Arts Center, and they deliver strong vocals and dancing while also turning in a nice duet of the love ballad Almost Paradise. Fred Strack makes for a frustrated Reverend Shaw Moore who is genuinely shaken when Ren causes him to realize that instead of saving his family he’s been driving them away, followed by a heartfelt sermon inspired by his new revelation.  

They’ve got a terrific supporting cast, including Truly Bailey as Rusty who provides big laughs and a big start to the second act by leading the cast in an entertaining Let’s Hear It for the Boy. Her boy is Willard, and Hunter Saling is a hoot as the boy who learns to dance and always does whatever his crazy Mama Says. Rusty and her two friends Urleen (Alyssa DeVries) and Wendy Jo (Evelyn Sparks) work off each other as a great team adding terrific comedy and vocals throughout, and cluing Ren in on the downside of small-town life with Somebody’s Eyes. While Marisa Acosta delivers a moving performance as Reverend Moore’s wife Vi who struggles with seeing the husband she loves slipping away, including a nice trio with Ethel McCormack (Megan Goyette) and Claire Keefer of Learning to be Silent and a beautiful solo of Can You Find It in Your Heart.  

Ray Limon directs and choreographs this show with a good mix of drama and fun, his cast turning in excellent performances as the residents of Bomont and really cutting it loose with the opening and closing Footloose numbers -- kicking things off with great energy and wrapping it up with a dazzling celebration for those times to dance.

Performed July 20 - 29, 2012

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~ 

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Ren McCormack: Jonathan Edzant
Ethel McCormack: Megan Goyette
Reverend Shaw Moore: Fred Strack
Vi Moore: Marisa Acosta
Ariel Moore: Claire Keefer
Lulu Warnicker: Megan Weber
Coach Wes Warnicker: Bryan Dorman
Eleanor Dunbar: Kaitlin Seay
Busty: Truly Bailey
Urleen: Alyssa DeVries
Wendy Jo: Evelyn Sparks
Chuck Cranston: Sean Hicke
Lyle: Sean Boyd
Travis: Andre Urbano
A Cop: Troy Lingelbach
Betty Blast: Danielle Siry
Willard Hewitt: Hunter Saling
Principal Harry Clark: Josh Guicherit
Jeter: Josh Guicherit
Bickle: Troy Lingelbach
Cowgirl: Michelle Cohen
Featured Ensemble:
Sean Boyd
Isabella Cady
Michelle Cohen
Joshua Guicherit
Amber Hopkins
Troy Lingelbach
Andre Urbano

Director and Choreographer: Ray Limon
Music Director: Christopher Myers
Technical Director: Daniel Czypinski
Stage Manager: Andrea Gutierrez
Assistant Stage Manager: Laura Garcia
Dance Captain: Alexa Querin
Sets: Joshua Carr - Welk Resort Theatre, Classical Academy High School, Daniel Czypinski, Vincent Jolly, Eric Querin
Props: Emma Connelly
Costumes: Janet Pitcher
Hair and Makeup: Kasey Reinbold

   

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