The J.L. Crowe Secondary drama players are kicking up their heels this weekend in an homage to a 1984 film classic.
In the Charles Bailey Theatre on Friday and Saturday night, students from grades 9 through 12 will be performing dance and musical numbers in a stage production of “Footloose.”
“Footloose” is an American musical-drama story about Ren McCormack, an upbeat Chicago teen who moves to a small town in the middle of nowhere, called Bomont.
Dancing and rock music have been banned by a local minister, Reverend Shaw Moore, but McCormack’s rebellious spirit shakes things up and brings back the funk.
Although the original movie is almost 30 years old, a remake was released in 2011 and re-energized the story for today’s youth.
“I had wanted to direct “Footloose” for many years but was waiting for the right time, the right group of kids, and the right production team,” said drama teacher Tanya LaFond.
Teacher Jason Whitley and a crew of creative students have been busy filming scenes for the intro and a video montage that promises heart warming shots of slow-witted cowboy and lead character Willard Hewitt, who is learning to dance.
“We filmed until sunset and are now in the process of editing to get it all down,” said Whitley.
As the high energy evening progresses, the audience can expect to see some lively dance numbers and a few familiar faces, hinted LaFond.
Seasoned drama player, Grade 12 student Steel Cole, will reprise the lead role, Ren, in what he said will be his last performance.
“Maybe some day I will try something like this again,” he said.
“Preparing for the show is nerve-racking, and after I am just going to graduate and enjoy my summer.”
Isaac Meyer, who portrays the puritanical Reverend Shaw, will graduate next week, but said that performing will be a part of his life for a long time to come as he plans a move to Vancouver to pursue the arts.
Stretching his character is what he likes best, and “Footloose” has given Meyer the chance to showcase his talents.
“Mrs LaFond has jokingly said that she typecast me,” he said.
“But actually I am very different from the Reverend, he’s serious, I’m goofy.”
The finale culminates months of rehearsing songs and choreography for the 35 students taking part.
“My favourite part is the big dance celebration to close the show,” said Naomi Spooner, who plays the female lead part of Ariel Moore.
Take note 1980’s song buffs, renditions of familiar classics such as Holding Out for a Hero and Almost Paradise could well up a nostalgic tear or two.
Tickets are $15 and on sale now at the box office, show begins at 7 p.m. both nights.