Review: Footloose The Musical


Presented by Southern Theatrical Artistic Youth Group 25 (STAYG25)
Reviewed Saturday 19th January 2013

Everything old is new again in this energetic youth production that relives the 1980s film in all of its glory. The musical was first staged on Broadway in the late 1990s, and was adapted for the stage by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie with music by Tom Snow.

The hits from the film are all present, with new treatments to make them part of the narrative: Let’s Hear it for the Boy, The Girl Gets Around, Almost Paradise, and the audience favourite, Holding Out for a Hero. New songs have also been added, including the beautiful ballad Can You Find It In Your Heart, which became the outstanding highlight of the evening sung by Fran Stoker as the Reverend’s wife.

With over 30 cast members and a highly efficient backstage crew, Footloose is big in scale and fun. Despite a plague of sound issues throughout the night, there’s little to dislike. Tayman Jamae is charismatic and believable as the central character, Ren, who fights to lift a ban on dancing in the small American town of Bomont. He has great stage presence, leading the talented ensemble through song, dance and teenage rebellion. All the leads are well cast, including Dylan Vidler as the loveable goof, Willard, Kimberley Jones as love interest, Ariel, Jamie Keers as bad boy, Chuck, and Kelsey Baker as Rusty.

Teenage director Lance Fakes has not only done a fantastic job keeping this play zipping along, but his basic set design ensures the momentum is rarely lost. Femia King’s 80s choreography is spirited, and Musical Director Luke Menzel’s seven piece band is top notch under the baton of Mark Delaine.

Having completed its run at the Hopgood Theatre in Noarlunga, the production now moves to the Shedley Theatre in Elizabeth for a final two nights. Cut loose!

Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.

STAYG25 website

Venue: Shedley Theatre, Playford Civic Centre, 10 Playford Boulevard, Elizabeth
Season: 24-25 January at 7pm
Duration: 2.5 hours
Tickets: $23.00 – $28.00
Bookings: Book at BASS

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