If the actors’ cowboy boots and ruffled prom dresses weren’t a giveaway, the wacky bright color scheme and 80’s “car” on stage give it away: Brooks' Firetrail Theatre Productions is bringing out all the stops to bring the iconic Footloose movie to life on stage November 9 - 11.
"It's so fun," said Director of Theatre Meghan Hill. "The cast has totally embraced it. It's a pretty goofy show, riding this line between classic theater with moments of really heavy stuff then two seconds later a giant outrageous, dance number or something really funny. The cast has embraced the whiplash that is the organization of this musical and they’re having a great time with it!"
In Chapel this morning, Footloose performers treated the school to a sneak peek of one of the show's songs.
None of the cast had previously seen the full 1984 film before signing on to the production yet through their parents they "had a concept of the original Kevin Bacon vibe," joked Hill. And those longtime fans of the coming-of-age saga — set in a small town where dancing and rock music is illegal — will find what they love in this Brooks production.
"It's cool to watch a generation that wasn't necessarily a part of the initial Footloose craze embrace the story in their own way," said Director of Theatre Meghan Hill. "And I think the kids are doing such a good job of that!"
"The lyrics, the music, the love story, that's all there,” said Hill. “But I also think audiences will find some nuance and excitement in the fact that they've never seen this version before. That’s the beauty of live theater. You can see a million productions and they're never the same.”
Students are “really going to love seeing their peers in the roles that they're in,” she added. “There are a lot of surprises happening, including a lot of students who we haven't seen on stage before and students who have performed in some capacity at Brooks, but not to this degree, or in this way — people that you didn't know could dance ‘like that’ or you didn't know had those vocal pipes or could command a scene with serious presence.”
With a number of student athletes in some “big, big roles” and actors stepping outside of their comfort zones in new ways, “this cast in particular has done a really good job helping each other level up,” Hill said.
As far as what audiences can expect when the show opens this evening in the Center for the Arts, Hill shared this: “I'd be shocked if people didn't find themselves clapping, laughing, getting goosebumps and being moved.” In other words, cutting loose. Footloose!