Theater Info for the Washington DC region

West Potomac High School Footloose

By • May 4th, 2009 • Category: Cappies

In a world where shows like “Dancing with the Stars” fill the airwaves, it seems absurd to imagine a town where dancing is forbidden. Yet this is the world of Bomont, Texas, where Chicago native (and dancing enthusiast) Ren McCormack is forced to move with his mother when his dad leaves. Thus, the stage is set for a battle to legalize dancing that is the focus of West Potomac High School’s entertaining Footloose.

1998’s Footloose, is based on a 1984 hit movie of the same name, starring Kevin Bacon. It tells the story of Bomont’s teenagers’ efforts to convince the town’s adults, led by the protective Reverend Shaw Moore, to allow them to hold a dance. This proves to be difficult when the debate reopens the old wounds of a late night car crash that killed four high school students — including the Reverend’s own son.

As Ren, Derek Marsh gave an energetic performance that well expressed the frustrations of his character and his enthusiasm for his cause. Opposite Marsh was Molly Medrano as Ariel Moore, the Reverend’s daughter who allies with Ren. Medrano was successfully able to create a multi-faceted character who could be innocent around her father, guilty when being sung about in “The Girl Gets Around,” and somewhere in between after becoming friends with Ren.

Many supporting actors added greatly to the show. John Rice played Willard, who secretly cannot dance until he asks Ren to teach him. Rice, however, certainly knew how to dance — his excellent physicality and well-chosen character choices made for an enjoyable performance.

Ariel’s friends, Rusty (Gloria Powell), Urleen (Kathleen McDowell), and Wendy Jo (Mary Langan), worked well together and provided several of the show’s funniest moments. They also helped enliven the rest of the large ensemble during several numbers, including the show’s opening.

As Vi Moore, Annie Trimber used her excellent vocal skills and emotional vigor to give an affecting performance, ending one song nearly in tears.

The production’s large ensemble of singers and dancers remained involved in the action throughout the show. They were nicely backed by the Footloose Band, that attentively adjusted its volume so that singers could be heard even when microphones were not working.

Full of energy and entertaining performances, West Potomac High School’s Footloose showed the audience that it is only a matter of time before even the most stubborn opponents of dancing kick off their Sunday shoes and “cut footloose.”

by Jacob Horn of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School

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