Stage version of ‘Footloose’ readied

STEUBENVILLE – “Footloose,” the film, exploded onto the screen in 1984, turning Kevin Bacon into a teen heartthrob and helping Kenny Loggins earn the nickname the King of Movie Soundtracks.

Thirty years later, the Steubenville City Schools Touch of Class program shakes up the summer with the stage version of the rock musical.

The musical will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Steubenville High School Auditorium.

The story of a big-city teen taking on small-town fears has its roots in a real-life coming-of-age tale. In 1980, the teens of Elmore, Okla., decided to spark a debate over a law, enacted in the 1800s, which outlawed dancing in the city limits. Through their determination, the teens were able to convince the school board and town leaders to hold the first prom since the law was enacted. Although the musical story line and the real life events are not exact, the events that transpired in 1980 caught the eye of Dean Pitchford to begin writing the movie screenplay and in 1988 the book for the musical version.

“FOOTLOOSE the Musical” is guaranteed to have viewers dancing in their seats. The Oscar and Tony-nominated top 40 score features such hits as “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” “Almost Paradise,” “Holding Out for a Hero” and the hit title song by Kenny Loggins, “Footloose.”

The show is based on the 1984 movie that gave Kevin Bacon his start in Hollywood. It tells the story of the lively city boy, Ren (played by Dominic DiCarlo), who moves to a small town called Bomont, where the memory of a tragedy has caused a ban on dancing.

Ren quickly finds himself at odds with the community lead by the Rev. Shaw Moore (played by Adam Andresen). Rev. Moore convinced the town council to place a ban on dancing following an accident five years earlier that took the lives of four Bomont boys coming home from a dance, one being the his son.

The reverend’s daughter Ariel (played by Natori Wicker) is not one to be controlled by her daddy. Ren and Ariel find they have a lot in common. Ren takes on the town and plans a dance at the school. What happens next is a “heartfelt story that emerges of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him.”

The Bomont teen ensemble includes Alex Isla as Willard; Nicole Prichard, Rusty; Patrick McKitrick, Chuck Cranston; Deanna DiCarlo, Urleen; Serena Lewis, Wendy Jo; Melissa Magyer, Riley; Caeli Welker, Donna Lee; Noah McAllister, Jeter; Reno Tarquinio, Bickle; DeShea Pendergrast, Garvin; Jacob Walker, Travis; Deshaun Smith, Lyle; Josh Marker, Gabe; with Lexi Biasi, Rhiannon Petrisko, Jacque Robertson, Emilee Karas, Lexie Murray, Glory Dami, Julia Loyszczyk, Taylor Grimes, Kaitlyn Rayl, Mecca Sawyer, Carlee Dillon, Isabella Colflesh and Mary Joy Cutler.

The Bomont adult ensemble includes Sarah Mamula as Vi Moore; Madison McCalister, Ethel McCormack; Annie Nehrbas, LuLu Warnicker; Seth Kenefick, Wes Warnicker; Kaitlyn Gaughan, Eleanor Dunbar; Michael Gault, Coach Dunbar; Sara McDonald, Principal Clark; Jessica Kerr, Betty Blast; Philip Stoutz, Cowboy Bob; and Corissa McCalister, Kennedy Shelton, Emilee Crago, Cara Delatore, Arainna Berdine, and Ariel Valentine.

The show is directed by Scott Wolodkin with choreography by Julie Battistell. Box office hours for tickets are 9 a.m. to noon daily or 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on each evening of the show.

For information or to make reservations, call (740) 282-9741 during regular school hours.

“Footloose” is being presented with special arrangements through Rogers and Hammerstein theater library.