The cast of the Elizabethtown Social Center production, "Footloose."
Breaking all the laws against dancing and rock ’n’ roll, the Elizabethtown theater group will be vocalizing songs from the 1980 and 2011 remake of the hit film, “Footloose,” with a diverse and compelling cast on April 19.
The Elizabethtown Social Center Community Theater Group will perform “Footloose” in the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School auditorium on April 19, 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. and on April 22 at 3 p.m.
“The audience should expect a very high energy show with great characters,” Director Susan Forney Hughes said.
The cast of 40 community members, including 25 student actors, have rehearsed their choreography and characters since beginning of January with Hughes, choreographer Karin DeMuro, and ELCSD music teacher as the play’s music director Kerry Mero. The play will also include a genuine church choir from the Elizabethtown United Church of Christ.
“Footloose” is set in the 1980s in rural America. The play follows the story of Ren McCormack, a teenager raised in Chicago, who moves with his mother to the small town of Bomont. Soon after moving to Bomont, the rock ’n’ roll enthusiastic teenager discovers the laws of his new home forbid dancing and rock ’n’ roll music. He falls for the rebellious reverend’s daughter, Ariel, and stirs up the town’s unprogressive traditions and with the help of his friends brings the music back to life.
The lead actor, 19-year-old James Duprey, is a first-time addition to the Social Center cast. Duprey comes from Au Sable Forks to Elizabethtown a few times a week to rehearse. Hughes said Duprey truly brings out the element of his character and brings something special to the play. 16-year-old Katie Whittemore, who plays opposite Duprey as Ariel, is a six-time veteran actor with the group.
“She’s just lovely to watch on stage,” Hughes said. “The chemistry of the entire cast plays out very well on stage.”
Whittemore said the role of Ariel was an exciting part to play and it was easy to get into character.
“She’s (Ariel) kind of my alter ego, she’s a rebel child and I’m not,” Whittemore said. “It’s fun to branch out and be someone different.”
The diverse age of the cast also brings something for everyone for the performance.
“The great thing about having community members in the play is I’ve been able to cast appropriately, and that brings the story together,” Hughes said.
Hughes said the play will appeal to all generations. Audience members who saw the original 1980s film and were entertained by the songs “Footloose” and “Let’s Hear it For the Boy,” with stars Kevin Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker and younger audience members who know the 2011 version with Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough will be entertained. DeMuro has been working with all the actors on the dances to bring the show to life with the signature music.
”It’s all very fast, rhythmic, music, we’re always asking the actors to push the tempo,” Hughes said.