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Cast cuts loose in 'Footloose' production PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 20:51

The high-energy world of “Footloose” came to life on the HHS stage last weekend and left audience members tapping their toes and humming those old familiar songs.

Director Eric Conklin, music director Pat Wiebers and assistant director Penny Dockins did a fantastic job pulling together cast members, dance numbers and music for the March 23-24 “Footloose” production.

Freshman Luke Stewart was perfectly cast as Ren, the passionate high schooler who turns the small town of Bomont upside down when he challenges their law against dancing. “If there’s one thing we’re fighting for, it’s freedom!” he proclaimed. Stewart has a great voice and certainly made Ren a convincing character.

City-boy Ren (Luke Stewart) gets passionate about
dancing when he finds out it’s against the law in his
new small town home of Bomont.

The on-stage chemistry between Ren and Ariel, the rebellious preacher’s daughter, was delightful. Senior Jordan Zeiler took on the role of Ariel with spunk and attitude, again with a fabulous voice and great interaction with the other characters. And as Willard said, “Ariel likes trouble. T-R-U-B-L!”

Ren (Luke Stewart) and Ariel (Jordan Zeiler) sing
the romantic duet “Almost Paradise.”

Ariel’s parents, Reverend Shaw and Vi, played by Austin Killin and Shobi Burris, astounded the audience with powerful and emotional solos, as they both dealt with the death of their son, the dance law and their troublesome daughter much differently.

Reverend Shaw (Austin Killin) pours his heart out
in a solo as he remembers his lost son and confesses
he doesn’t always have all the answers.

Reverend Shaw (Austin Killin) listens to his wife Vi (Shobi Burris) as she sings “Can You Find it in Your Heart.”

Bringing hilarious comedy to the stage was Payin Becerra, playing Ren’s awkward friend Willard. When he wasn’t trying to impress the girls, he was picking fights and, of course, giving out advice from all the things his mother said. Remember... “Don’t use a toaster while standing in the shower!”

Mama sure does have a lot of advice for anything and everything under the sun. Willard (Payin Becerra) belts out “Mama Says,” with help from Brandon Struckmeyer, Ryan Parker, AJ Brandt and Ben Martinez.

Ariel’s trusty girlfriends, played by Brittney Prottsman, Molly Brandt and Shaylee Krueger, brought the stage to life with their big smiles, upbeat dance moves and great vocals.

Imagining what it’d be like to have a knight in shining armor, Ariel (Jordan Zeiler) sings “Holding on for a Hero,” backed up by her friends Rusty (Brittney Prottsman), Wendy Jo (Shaylee Krueger) and Urleen (Molly Brandt).  

José Jaquez perfectly captured the essence of the crude and demanding ex-boyfriend Chuck Cranston. He was backed up by buddies Ben Martinez and Renan Barrueco.

Travis (Ben Martinez) and Lyle (Renan Barrueco) back up their buddy Chuck (José Jaquez) as he makes a move toward Ariel (Jordan Zeiler) in “The Girl Gets Around.” It was just one of the exciting musical numbers in last weekend’s Footloose production.

Always counteracting the high schoolers’ shenanigans were the school principal played by Louise Krog-Meyer, the coach and his wife played by Jacob Vasa and Jacinda Krueger and Ren’s aunt and uncle played by Kelsey Kramer and Ryan Parker.

Brooke Parker was Ren’s mother, who encouraged him to pursue his dream of changing the dance law in Bomont.

Also bringing their dance skills, vocals and high energy to the stage were Brandon Struckmeyer, AJ Brandt, Malena McWilliams, Antonine Bidaud, Henri Tuokko, Lea Haefliger, Marques Harvey, Megan Parker, Peyton Dittmer, Dani Brandt and Lori McWilliams.

Claiming he can’t dance, Willard (Payin Becerra, pictured third from left) does his best to join in the line dance to impress his crush Rusty. Pictured from left are Dani Brandt, Jacinda Krueger, Payin Becerra, Kelsey Kramer, Brandon Struckmeyer, Shobi Burris, Louise Krog-Meyer, Antonine Bidaud and Brooke Parker.

Cast members bring out the high energy during the “Footloose” opening number and dance sequence. Pictured from left are Jacinda Krueger, Louise Krog-Meyer, Jacob Vasa, Ryan Parker (hidden), Brittney Prottsman, Henri Tuokko, Antonine Bidaud (hidden) and Kelsey Kramer.

None of the “Footloose” production would have been possible without the amazing musical talents of guitarist Nick Mitchell, drummer Alyssa Cordova and pianist Pat Wiebers.

Musicians Alyssa Cordova, Nick Mitchell and Patricia Wiebers lay down a beat for “Footloose” cast members.

—Enterprise photos

Choreography was put together by Teanna Clark, Penny Dockins, Ben Martinez and the cast. Also working behind the scenes were Nick Ortner, Austin Killin, Jacob Vasa and Eric Conklin on lights; Logan Zeiler, Bob Heldenbrand and Vasa on sound; Kody Timm on PowerPoint; HHS TV productions class on video; Conklin on set design; and Dockins, Wiebers and the cast on costume design.

Holyoke Enterprise March 29, 2012