Outstanding Footloose at the Little Theatre of AlexandriaBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jan 20th, 2007 • Category: Reviews, Stand Out!
Listen to our review of Footloose as performed by the Little Theatre of Alexandria [MP3 6:40 1.9MB].
Mike: Footloose is a musical based off of the 1984 movie Footloose. Stage adaptation was by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. It’s the story of a boy from Chicago, Ren McCormick, who has moved to a small town where dancing is against the law. He decides that that’s a silly law and he wants to get it changed. Ren gets in trouble constantly around town since he’s an outsider. He also attracts the attention of the reverend’s daughter. The high school students work together to try to get the law changed and to have a dance in their town.
Laura: This show was great. I would call this a standout performance. The singing and dancing were just outstanding. The set was great. There were 28 people in the cast and having all 28 on the stage at the same time was incredible. They used the stage space really well. I was just really impressed by this show and really excited. I know I’m going to call this a standout show even though I think just about every performance is sold out. They’ve even added two performances.
Mike: This was a really good show. The Little Theatre of Alexandria did a great job with such a complex show. There were a ton of people in the cast. The dancing was top notch. The music was really good. The set design was incredible. It just came together really well. This show definitely deserves to be a standout show.
The main character was Ren McCormick played by Christopher Adams. He did a really good job portraying a high school student who just moved from a big city into this small town in the middle of nowhere. He did a good job portraying the troubled high school student being picked on by all the adults and all the other authority figures in this small town. He also did a really good job when he was being sung to by the girls, the song,”Somebody’s Eyes.” The choreography on that was really good with the different townspeople coming in to look over their shoulders at what was going on. I just really enjoyed that.
Laura: And the pastor’s daughter, who was no angel, was Ariel Moore played by Abigail Odmark. She was incredible. She had some really great dance numbers. She had the attitude that she was a “bad girl,” but was the daughter of the preacher so she had to put on the good girl face. She and Ren McCormick really acted together well. I especially liked the song they did under the bridge called “Almost Paradise.” That was a really moving song and well sung.
Mike: Ariel’s Mother, Vi Moore, was played by Dana Joel Gattuso. She did a really good job. I felt very sorry for her at times. She was so lonely. She felt like her husband had left her even though he was right there. She didn’t know quite how to support him, but she did keep supporting him as best she could. She stood up for herself near the end of the show and that was a really nice scene at the town hall.
Laura: The Reverend Shaw Moore, the spiritual leader of the town of Bomont was played by Joe Dodd. I liked him very much as well. He came across as very strong, but underneath he was masking his feelings over the hurt and anger over the loss of his son several years earlier. I especially liked the solo he had at the end of the first act. “Heaven Help Me.” He was singing about how he was the pastor of this town and the shepherd of his flock, but at the same time he was angry over the loss of his son and all those different emotions. That was a really really good song.
Mike: This was a very complex show. There were a lot of scenes. The whole show ran a little over two hours with one fifteen minute intermission. Even though it was a complex show over a lot of different places, LTA made great use of the area they had to work with. There was a set of stairs on each side of the stage and it shifted left, right, and sometimes straight on at you. With a few extra pieces, such as tables or chairs or benches, it was a totally different place. The lighting helped a lot. Ken and Patty Crowley did a great job with the lighting.
Laura: The lighting was really good. The different lighting cues really helped affect the songs and the dance numbers.
Mike: This show did bring back a lot of memories for me since I was in high school when the movie Footloose came out. A lot of those songs made me remember those slow dances in high school, and trying to figure out girls and all that type stuff. It was kind of fun to watch all the different characters. The different characters were a lot of the cliches from high school. I just kept thinking, “I wonder which one I am?” You had the bad boy Chuck Cranston, played by James Finley. You had the teacher’s pet almost could have been as Ariel. She was also the bad girl. I could see her as a cheerleader. Then you had the out of towner-dangerous boy. Not really a bad boy, but dangerous. Then you had Willard the good friend, played by Michael Reid, who he supported. So I was wondering, which one are you, Laura? Which character do you think you most identify with?
Laura: I identified with Rusty (played by Renee Rabben), the friend of Ariel’s. She was cute and spunky and just wanted to fit in and have a good time. Didn’t mind living somewhat dangerously, although she was probably one of the more levelheaded kids of the group. Who do you identify most with?
Mike: I think I most identified with Willard.
Laura: I knew you were going to say that.
Mike: He was unsure of himself. Very supportive of his friends once he had that friendship. Couldn’t dance. I couldn’t dance worth a lick in high school. Probably still can’t.
Laura: I went to a Christian high school so that didn’t happen.
Mike: No dancing?
Laura: No dancing.
Mike: Oh, so this show is about you. So if you’ve seen this show, or even if you’ve seen the movie, but we prefer you to go see the show if you can get tickets, look at it and try to think how did you fit into high school. Were one of these characters onstage you? There were almost 30 people in the cast so someone in there should be who you identified with. It was a lot of fun, the dancing was great. The music was really well done. The set was incredible how they used it.
So if you can get tickets at LTA’s Footloose I say you go out and do it. We just checked the website at thelittletheatre.com and most of the shows are sold out. They have added two additional shows on Sunday the 21st and Sunday the 28th at 7:30.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1842.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.