CMC Theatre cuts "(Foot) loose with spring musical production
In its spring musical production of “Footloose,” CMC Theatre once again exemplifies the spirit of community theater.
Its talented cast includes high school, college and community actors and actresses, singers, dancers and musicians, as does its crew of stagehands, light and sound technicians, and managers.
Three days before the opening performance, the cast and crew gathered on stage at the New Space Theater to talk about what the play means to them.
“The music, the dancing, the rehearsals … all of it has brought the cast together,” said Tim Wright, who plays leading man Ren McCormack.
“It’s fun,” said Drew Evans, a senior at Glenwood Springs High School. Evans, who plays Garvin, is a veteran of just about every community theater opportunity in the area. “There is a sense of family here.”
“The cast gets along really well,” said Wright. “You can see the chemistry on stage.”
“Footloose” is a high-energy production based on the 1984 movie of the same title. The stage show opened on Broadway in 1998.
Based on true events, the story follows a young and restless teenager who loves music and dance and moves from Chicago to the small town of Bomont, a community with no movie theaters, no clubs, no entertainment of any kind. To complicate and frustrate matters, dancing in Bomont is against the law, and that law was handed down by a stern authority that the local folks, including the teenagers, have come to accept and obey. Or do they?
The musical score includes the hits “Footloose,” “Somebody’s Eyes,” “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” and “Almost Paradise,” and is backed by an orchestra of local musicians.
There are underlying themes in the play that are common to any community, said adult actor Cliff Keen, who plays the Rev. Shaw Moore. “It’s about the problems between adults and kids, about who’s really in control, and about conflict.”
Hopefully, said Keen, everyone will experience resolution and come out, “as Drew said, as a family.”
“Footloose” offers its audience a series of lively dances and dance movements, choreographed by Gayla Rowe-Gaddis, who is also directing the Glenwood Springs High School comedy production of “Legend of Robin Hood … Sort of,” which opens next week. Dances are performed by a highly energetic and well-trained cast.
The orchestra is directed by Jeannie Miller, who performs on keyboard. Band members include Laurel Little and Lauren Hendee on keyboard, Ashton Taufer on bass and Rilley Anderson on drums.
The show also reunites director Cristine Aronson with musical director Miller. The duo has collaborated in the past on numerous shows for GSHS, the Defiance Community Players and CMC Theater.
This is the fourth year of performances to be held in the New Space Theatre, and “Footloose” is the first musical, according to Tom Cochran, director of CMC Theatre.
Aronson said she saw the show in New York and knew that, even though it was originally set in the 1980s, it was a timely play with contemporary and ageless themes.
“It’s been an especially hard year for the country,” said Aronson. The events of and after Sept. 11 have been taxing and traumatic for everyone. This is spring, this is our season of renewal,” she said. “This play is about change, about loss and grief and ultimately joy, which is transmitted throughout the music and the dance and the characters.”
Cast members also include: adults Kristen Carlson, Gerald DeLisser, Michael Banks, Tom Cochran, Ruthie Parrish, Barb Murray, Caroline Upthegrove, Carl Meitler, Eileen Chidsey, Peter Martin and Nathan C. Pederson; CMC students Cliff Goforth, Matt Daniels, Cody Pepper, Ben Kiser, Cristal Aschizann, Britton Boyd and Kristen Layton; and GSHS students Hayley Harris, Erika Toler, Tamara Haynes-Norton, Sarah Gabriel, and Abby Murray.
The opening night performance will include catered desserts by Village Inn and a reception with the cast following the performance. For more information, call Cristine Aronson at 947-8227.
“Footloose,” the musical
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday April 26, 27, and Thursday-Saturday, May 2-4; and at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28
The New Space Theater at CMC Spring Valley Campus
Tickets are $12 adults, $10 students and children (May 2 is student night, with student admission of $8), available at CMC Glenwood, Lappala and Spring Valley centers and at the door
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