Footloose the Musical at the Colonial Theater

Road Show Launches Season in Pittsfield

By: - Mar 20, 2009

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" On March 17,  "Footloose-the Musical", directed by Gary John La Rosa, ended its two-day run to a sold out audience at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield.  As someone who absolutely loved the 1984 movie that jettisoned the career of Kevin Bacon,  I had high expectations for the musical and was not entirely sure how it would stack up to its predecessor.  It didn't disappoint as the packed house left the theater, foot tapping, and cutting loose as they made their way up the aisles at show's end.
Starring Erik Keiser (Ren McCormack), Lindsay Luppino (Ariel Moore), Kara Guy (Rusty), Jeff Blim (Chuck Cranston), Glenn Wall (Reverend Shaw Moore), and Michael Kennan Miller (Willard Hewitt), the play follows the struggle of Ren McCormack after moving from Chicago to the small, farming town of Bomont.  Not having lived in Bomont his whole life, this troubled outcast keeps getting into trouble because of his rebellious nature.  Things go from bad to worse when he begins seeing Ariel, the daughter of the town's preacher who runs the town.  Together with Ariel, Willard, and Rusty, Ren took on Reverend Shaw, the Town Council and Chuck Cranston (Ariel's boyfriend prior to her dating Ren). 

 Lindsay Luppino (Ariel), Michael Kennan Miller (Willard), Kara Guy (Rusty) and Jeff Blim (Chuck) were truly the scene-stealers of this production.  Luppino's charm and vocals were amazing.  Though the play got off to a slow start, following the opening musical number, by the time Ariel and her friends performed "Holding Out for A Hero", energized the entire cast.  Led by Luppino, this was one of the show stopping numbers.  Erik Keiser's rendition of "I'm Free (Heaven Help Me), reminiscent of High School Musical 3's basketball numbers, ended the first act and left the audience anxiously awaiting the next act. 

 Although he second act  lagged a bit from the high-octane first act, it did have a couple of gems.  Despite sometimes overacting and trying to create things that weren't there, Keiser did a great job portraying Ren McCormack.  In fact, his duet with Luppino of "Almost Paradise" showed that simple songs could be just as gripping and intense as heavily choreographed ones like "I'm Free".  One of the show-stopping numbers of the second act was "Still Rockin' " which showcased the dancing.  The stand out of this song was Michael Keenan Miller (Willard) whose performance and gymnastic dance moves riled the audience and hyped up the cast.    
 This production, presented by Prather Entertainment Group kicked off what will surely be an exciting year for the Colonial Theater.  The Stage Adaptation was done by Dean Pitchford and Walter Robbie, based on the screenplay "Footloose" by Dean Pitchford.  Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, and Jim Steinman provided the additional music and the performance was choreographed by Chris Sunders. 
 The season for the Colonial Theater is just beginning, but if the shows are as good as this one was, it is going to be something to remember. For all of you that couldn't make the play, I would recommend seeing it when they come to your area.  Until then, keep on dancing!