2009-04-23 / Entertainment

MHS Musical Cut "Footloose!"

By Hope Moore

Pictured above is the cast of the MHS musical "Footloose." Pictured above is the cast of the MHS musical "Footloose." "Everybody cut, everybody cut, Footloose." MHS invited the community back to the '80s to visit the town of Bomont stilled and silenced by grief. One young man helped show that the gift of music and the spirit of healing can inspire a community to come together.

The musical adapted from the popular 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon was a story based from real-life events in Elmore City, Okla. This classic tale of teen rebellion and repression featured a delightful combination of dance choreography and realistic and touching performances. When teenager Ren (wonderfully brought to life by Cole Johnston) and his mother, Ethel (portrayed by A'Leese Dickerson), move from big-city Chicago to a small town in the West, he tried hard to fit in. The streetwise Ren can't quite believe he's living in a place where rock music and dancing are illegal. However, Ren meets Ariel (amazingly played by Chelsea Chestnut), a troubled but lovely young woman with a jealous boyfriend, Chuck (sinisterly portrayed by Eric Edmonds), and a Bible-thumping father and town minister. The Reverend Shaw Moore (masterfully played by Trent Sowers), is responsible for keeping the town dance-free. Ren and his classmates want to do away with this ordinance, especially since the senior prom is around the corner, but only Ren has the courage to initiate a battle to abolish the outmoded ban and revitalize the spirit of the townspeople repressed by the fateful Potawney Bridge Accident. Fast-paced drama was filled with famous hit songs such as the title track, "Holding Out for a Hero" and "Let's Hear It for the Boy."

Christina Ramsey is congratulated for her sixth MHS production. She continues to provide the community with an enjoyable theatre experience through her devotion to the students and production crew. Her ability to cast students in roles that they seemed suited for is once again obvious. From the ready-to-fight antics of Willard Hewitt (hilariously portrayed by Troy Yaukey) and his Mama's wisdom to the quieted, but supportive minster's wife, Vi Moore (beautifully played by Nicole Price), each character came to life. Also evident this year was the talented supportive cast, including the impeccable comedic timing of Brittany Ott, who portrayed the lovable Rusty, and her trio of girlfriends, played by Courtney McClure, Gabrielle McGarvey and Emily Watkins. The Bomont students and townspeople all came to life with their own unique talents and style and all are to be commended for a memorable musical experience.

Noreen Mann continued to show her devotion to the cast and crew as music director. She and the orchestra made up of Carolyn Kerlin, Larry Stepler, Deborah Reed and Logan Peck provided as always the most impressive musical support. Nor-een's effort and selfless giving of her time allowed the director and production team to benefit from the talent nurtured from the high school students. Noreen especially showcased the abilities of the students through the intricate harmonies of the small groups, including Rusty and the girls and the Junkyard boys.

Erica Sexton's fourth year as costume designer was an amazing accomplishment. The challenge to provide costumes for a variety of scene changes and sequences is one that she triumphed over beautifully. She and her costume mistresses, Melissa Horton and Marjorie Sexton, are to be commended for the array of costumes and accessories that brought the characters to life.

Clarissa Kissinger brought the students to life as choreographer. Her ability to charm audiences through the variety and difficulty of the dances is commended. She provided an unbelievable collection of dance sequences that carried the story forward and showcased the talented actors.

Steve Walker, Charles Harr, Susan Cubbage and Doug Seiders were masterful at transforming the stage into the community, the BBQ Dance Hall and the high school of Bomont. They are commended for their attention to detail from set pieces to props. We were fortunate to have the support of individuals, businesses and the Cito United Methodist Trustees for the use of the motorcycles, roller-skates and pulpit among other pieces that brought authenticity to the stage.

This is Nancy Shearer's ninth year producing MHS musicals. Nancy brings a professional dedication to the students of MHS and production crew as she works tirelessly behind the scenes to provide the details and final touches that gave audiences three wonderful performances.

The behind-the-scenes crew from dance coaches, hair stylists, makeup crew, lighting, and spots to the community and businesses who donated monetary support should know that they are appreciated by the spectacular performances given last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Without their support, this musical could not happen.

"Footloose" is Mc- Connellsburg High School's 23rd musical production since 1984 and is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Return to top