Opening Nights | September 2016
By Richard Schultz, September 2016 Issue.
One of the most explosive movie musicals in recent memory bursts onto the stage. When Ren, (played by Nathan Taylor), and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn’t prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher (played by Mark Hackmann), determined to exercise the control over the town’s youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter, Ariel (played by Greta Perlmutter), takes a liking to Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. The heartfelt story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him. This Oscar and Tony award-nominated top 40 score is augmented with new songs for the stage musical. Directed and choreographed by Suze St. John, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people as well as guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind.
Mesa Encore Theatre
Mesa Arts Center
1 E. Main St., Mesa
Tickets: $31; 480-644.6500