Northwood High School FootlooseBy Cappies • Nov 23rd, 2011 • Category: Cappies
Get ready to cut loose, as Northwood High School takes you on an up-beat journey complete with power house belting, wild dance moves, flashing lights, and music that you can’t help but tap your foot to in their production of Footloose. This fun, get-up-and-dance musical, based on the 1984 film that became an 80’s icon and launched a young Kevin Bacon into stardom, opened on Broadway in 1998 and ran for 709 performances. With familiar songs and a recent 2011 film remake, Footloose has captured the hearts and dancing feet of audiences from the eighties to the present, and the students of Northwood bravely stepped up to take on such an iconic show.
Footloose tells the story of wild teenage boy Ren McCormack who just “can’t stand still.” After his father leaves Ren and his mother, they are faced with financial troubles, and Ren is forced to leave the dance clubs of Chicago and move to the small town of Bomont. There, he meets the strict Reverend Shaw Moore and his beautiful daughter Ariel, who rebels against her father’s strict rules. After befriending an awkward country boy named Willard, Ren learns that as a result of a terrible accident, the Reverend Moore convinced the town council to ban dancing from Bomont completely. While dealing with the harsh eyes of the community, coping with his father’s abandonment, and falling in love with Ariel, Ren attempts to overturn the town’s ban on dancing, and in the process changes the town of Bomont, and the people in it, for good.
Kyle Louviere’s Ren McCormack was heartfelt and earnest, with exceptional dancing skills that were a delight to watch. In his scenes opposite the Reverend Moore he was believably caring, and his performance had the audience cheering him on from beginning to end. Reverend Shaw Moore, for his own part, gave a commendable performance. Played by Abel Jimenez, his strong vocals, sincere and sympathetic, made him a standout performer in the show. Ethan Barbee’s portrayal of the awkward yet loveable best friend Willard was endearing and enjoyable. The moment when he shocked the audience with his incredible dancing ability was a highlight of the show, and his comic timing helped to keep the mood of the show continually upbeat.
Northwood’s stage crew team of Megan McGuffey, Jonathan Dautzler, Sawyer Flint, and Hunter Nguyen helped to keep the show flowing almost seamlessly through each scene, with only minor errors throughout. Though there were one or two microphone problems, this was overshadowed by the excellent work of the lighting. Designed and executed by Stephan Naggy, Jake Blakely, Liam Brennan, and Joshua Gaal, the lighting was consistently well done throughout the show, setting the mood for both serious and upbeat scenes. During the dance numbers, the lighting turned the theater into a concert arena, full of centered spotlights and strobe lights. Overall the show was technically sound and moved well.
If you’re in for a feel-good musical, then Footloose is the show to see. From dance numbers that keep your hands clapping to an uplifting moral about standing up for what you believe in, Footloose will make you want to “kick off your Sunday shoes,” and jump right into the fun.
by Carolyn Lucas of Oakcrest School
Photos by Susan Shaffer
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