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FOOTLOOSE
a Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA CHILDREN MUSICAL


COMPANY : Chattahoochee Community Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Johns Creek High School Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 3734

SHOWING : July 15, 2010 - July 17, 2010

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

From the Company that brought you Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Seussical, and Aida comes the newest hit in town - FOOTLOOSE the MUSICAL! Don't miss your chance to see this blockbuster live on the stage produced by the JOHNS CREEK PLAYERS (formerly Chattahoochee Community Players).

hicago. A group of young people have gathered at their favorite dance club to unwind and say goodbye to Ren McCormack. Ren's father has walked out, so he and his mother are forced to move in with her sister's family in a small town nobody has ever heard of - Beaumont.

Ren soon finds himself at odds with the repressive atmosphere in Beaumont, where the spiritual life of the community is overseen by the power local minister Reverend Moore. Ren is stunned to learn that dancing is not allowed anywhere within the town limits of Beaumont. His new friends explain that this law dates back five years to a car accident that claimed the lives of four Beaumont teenagers. In the flood of grief and guilt that followed that tragedy, Rev Moore managed to convince the town council to ban dancing. The only person seemingly unfazed by Rev Moore's iron-fisted control is his daughter Ariel.

Following a bout with her healous boyfriend, Ren walks Ariel home and they find they have a lot in common. But Rev Moore forbids Ariel to see Ren again, citing him as a troublemaker, despite his wife's pleas. Annoyed, the minister walks away.

The next day, frustrated by his new stifling environment, Ren vows to "take on this town" and incites a revolution by his classmates to throw a dance.

Ren drives Ariel and their friends 100 miles outside Beaumont to a dance hall where they party into the night and teach Willard how to dance. When Ariel finally arrives home, her defiance infuriates Rev Moore, who denies that he has become too severe since the death of his son - one of the teenagers killed in the fateful car accident. Angered, he walks away again.

At the long awaited town council meeting, Ren makes his case for a dance with Ariel's help. When the motion is defeated, he is devastated, but his mother convinces him that Rev Moore "fixed" the vote, and urges him to try again by speaking privately with the minister.

Ren goes to the church, but after a brief discussion in which Rev Moore is unable to share his fears and motivation for continuing the ban, he asks Ren to leave and turns away. Appalled by his own actions, it is only then that the minister realizes how musch the pain of his son's death has overshadowed his life, and the lives of everyone in Beaumont. After a struggle with his conscience, he announces to his parishioners that he has had a change of heart - that in fact a dance might be a good idea.

And so, for the first time in years, the young people of Beaumont are able to dance freely, and as everyone joins in, the evening becomes not only a celebration, but finally as ecstatic expression of healing. They dared to dance and "Everybody Cut Footloose!"


CAST & CREW LIST
Cast Rhonda Fossum
Director Killeen Miskin
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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A High School Musical
by playgoer
Sunday, July 18, 2010
3.0
Johns Creek Players' presentation of "Footloose" has many great elements – some charismatic leads and supporting players, effective scenic design, terrific scene-changing music. The group has chosen to present the show in a high school auditorium with a cast packed with high schoolers, though, and this tends to make the show appear to be more of a high school production than it need be.

Don't get me wrong – local high schools often put on terrific shows with dazzling production values. The herds of somewhat synchronous dancers filling out the ranks of the ensemble in "Footloose" probably ensure full audiences, but they lower the overall quality of the work. They're energetic and enthustiastic, but they're – well – high school.

Some of the best performers are college students or recent high school graduates. It's wonderful that they have an opportunity to perform between school terms. Rico LeBron, in the lead role of Ren McCormick, brings stage presence, a pleasing voice, and great dancing skills to his role and holds the audience's attention. Dustin Smith, in the comic role of Willard, grabs the audience and keeps its eyes focused on him whenever he's onstage, using fine dancing and singing skills in addition to his great stage presence. Nicole Hood, in the female lead role of Ariel Moore, adds a lovely voice to the mix, as does Nicole Pietrangelo as her friend Urleen.

Some of the high schoolers are terrific, of course. I was particularly taken with Sarah Stipe as Rusty. She perhaps isn't goofy enough for her comic role, but she brings a great voice and pizzazz to the stage. Her mother Debra, as the preacher's wife, Vi Moore, brings an even better voice and terrific acting chops to her role.

The adult males in the cast tend to be more stilted than the women. The major role of the Reverend Shaw Moore is played by a first-timer to the stage, and his inexperience shows at times. It can be disconcerting to see the back of his head so often, but the lead actors wear microphones, so hearing isn't much of a problem.

Staging is effective, although lighting doesn't always mesh with actors' locations. A wonderful train effect is used that wows the audience in act one. In act two, though, it is done in audio-only form, followed by a deadly slow scene that culminates in an unattractively sung "Almost Paradise." That, in the midst of a series of slow scenes in act two, was the low point of the show for me.

All the other musical numbers score points, and the second act ends with a superabundance of energy that almost makes up for the slowness that precedes it. The opening number screams "high school" and the ending echoes it, but it's a fun, energetic three hours of entertainment. The arched scaffolding of light boxes has been used throughout the show for scenic effects in various color combinations, but at the end the nine segments light up in individual colors, bringing a cheery look to the end of the show. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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