Footloose is based on a true story. In 1979, when the high school students in Elmore City, Oklahoma wanted a senior prom, the city council said that it was against the law to dance within the city limits, thanks to a late 1800's ordinance. This pitted the city council, lead by the local pastor, against the students. From this story we get some great dance tunes: "Footloose," "Let's Make Believe We're in Love," "Almost Paradise," and my favorite, "Let's Hear It For the Boy."
If you're looking for a fun evening, then I suggest you check out Grissom's version of Footloose. The whole play is snappy, but the ending is spectacular and gave me chills. The lead characters are strong with great voices. At first, I had trouble buying into Chris Bowser as Ren McCormack. I've seen Chris in quite a few other productions and I know how unlike Ren he really is. But once I got over the shock, I relaxed and enjoyed his performance immensely.
All the soloists in the show gave strong performances. My husband felt that Miles Babin as Rev. Shawn Moore was the best and Danielle Mason as Vi Moore, his wife, a close second. I couldn't decide who I liked the most--the girls were all great. I loved Erica Hansen as Rusty and her rendition of"Let's Hear It for the Boy" was probably my favorite. The second act with the country dancing was right up my alley. Maegan Gillespie as Irene belted out "Let's Make Believe We're In Love."
I only have two comments to make: With all the rush-rush we have on TV, some of the scene changes seemed to slow things down for me. But I think that's just our fast-food mentality. Grissom Fine Arts' set design team built a wide variety of sets and so, I guess, we have to pay the price while the crew changes the scenes for us. The other thing I noticed is that there are a few "swear" words in the play. Not the horrific words that we're almost nonchalant about any more because we hear them in most of the movies, from late-night comedians and even in song lyrics these days. I was just surprised that a high school play would have a musical with some d***'s, p***'s and h***'s in it. Call me a prude!
No matter what you think about the language, this show is worth seeing and a lot of fun, from the moment it starts until the last note sung and dance stepped. Grissom Fine Arts is presenting Footloose February 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. and February 26th at 2:00 p.m. Reserved seating tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students. For tickets or more information, call 539-1534. Tickets are also available at Blossoms and Blooms across the street from Grissom High School.
Footloose Cast List on next page!