Park Hill High School
Submitted for publication to KC Star Online
PLATTE COUNTY CAN'T STAND STILL
No dancing. No listening to rock music. Somebody's Eyes are always on you. This is Bomont, Utah where Platte County High School's FOOTLOOSE is set. But what happens when a city boy takes on the strict town?
FOOTLOOSE, heavily based on the 1984 film of the same name, premiered on Broadway in 1998 and follows the story of Ren McCormack. Born in Chicago, Ren is forced to move to Bomont, a small, Christian town with one catch� public dancing is considered illegal. As Ren struggles to fit into this new society, he meets a girl named Ariel, who happens to be the pastor's daughter, and yet rebels against everything her father sets in place. Ren, with the help of Ariel, sets off on a fight to convince the adults of Bomont that dancing is a gift and that outlawing it is unreasonable. This makes for an exciting show, filled 80's rock music and totally rad dance moves.
Henry Lange (Ren McCormack) sets the tone for the show in his first number, I Can't Stand Still. His infectious energy seeps into the rest of the characters and his vocals never waver, even amid his wild dancing. His acting is no different and he perfectly portrays the stubborn, misunderstood Ren. His chemistry with Raena Sinclair (Ariel Moore) is beautiful, and the two play off each other well. Sinclair's strong voice fills up the auditorium, and her sassy demeanor encompasses the rebellious nature of Ariel wonderfully. Madison Hicks, Maddie Kunz, and Brenna Davis, who play Ariel's friends Rusty, Urleen, and Wendy Jo, are amazing narrators to the story and their harmonies are tight and precise. They play the typical 80's high schoolers skillfully and their chemistry is perfect.
Andrew Ivy, who plays Reverend Shaw Moore, draws the audience in with his fits of rage, and yet nails the quieter parts when the Reverend is struggling and reflecting upon the events of the show. Ivy's voice is rooted and he plays the part superbly. Another character who provokes an audience reaction is Willard, who is played by Walker Sperl. Sperl brings the comic relief to the show, and his timing is spot-on. Plus, his phenomenal country accent brings the whole character together and makes for a lot of laughs. Lexi Hogston's (Vi Moore) voice soars over the audience, and she portrays all of her emotions beautifully, through facial expressions and voice inflections. Her relationship with Ivy evolves wonderfully throughout the story, and the two show it quite well.
The lighting in this show, designed by Ki Holland and Tori Williams, is absolutely stunning, and the symbolic changes with each song/scene fit the emotion of the characters and add to the story in an impactful way. The costumes, put together by Lexi Hogston, Madison Hicks, and Madelynn Darst, fit the time period of the 80's very well, and the thorough research done was apparent on the stage. Danyelle Huntsman also did a fantastic job with marketing and publicity and created the posters and the shirts to fit the time period, and portray what the show was all about.
Dancing is not a crime at Platte County High School, FOOTLOOSE is still rockin', and the audience is sure to be humming the tunes of the 80's as they leave.
Park Hill High School
Submitted for publication to The Pitch
DANCING IS NOT A CRIME
Big hair, bold makeup, and pops of color. The 80s seemed to never have a dull moment. Platte County High School decides to go back in time to kick off their Sunday shoes with their production of FOOTLOOSE.
FOOTLOOSE is based on the 1984 movie with an identical name. The story follows a young teenage boy who moves from Chicago, Illinois to a small town in Utah called Bomont after his father abandons him. He discovers that this small, mundane, town has more depth to it than what may appear. Typically, he tries to dance his problems away, but it is revealed to him that dancing is a crime. He feels inclined to do something to change that rule to make the youth regain freedom.
Depicting the lively role of Ren McCormack, Henry Lange is the leading man of the show. Lange has a never depleting amount of enthusiasm and energy that captures Ren's essence. He portrays Ren as fun-loving, just embracing the meaning of youth, while he simultaneously manages to switch his tone and be serious when he necessary. Every movement he makes appears to be thoughtful, only adding more to the character. The rebellious female role of Ariel Moore is portrayed by Raena Sinclair. Through Sinclair's fantastic inflection, her voice alone displays the sass and naivety of Ariel. Her vocals are pleasant yet powerful, and her facials further adds to her already tremendous performance.
Andrew Ivy plays the role of Reverend Shaw Moore, a strict father and preacher. Because of his brilliant execution, Ivy's performance is breathtaking. In every scene that features him, you can feel the extreme amounts of emotion just by looking at the multiple expressions he forms. His performance is realistic, and he does not shy away from showing Reverend Moore's anger. Ivy has marvelous control over his vocal tones and is exceptional at presenting the development of his character.
The exquisite light design is done by Ki Holland and Tori Williams. Holland and Williams manage to produce lighting that reflects the words and deeper emotions of the characters. Cleverly associating select colors with certain feelings and characters, the lighting adds an established depth to the show that the actor cannot. The costumes in the show are extremely distinct and capture the period appropriately. Each character on stage wears a costume that demonstrates an element of their personality.
Although multiple elements of FOOTLOOSE are wonderful, there are a couple of minor issues. On numerous occasions, the microphones would cut out or the volume is too soft to be able to hear the actors. This risks important dialogue from being heard. However, the actors are able to work through the problems and not take away from the performance. The hair and makeup of the production are stunning, but it is difficult to differentiate the adult characters from high school students.
Everybody's gotta cut loose sometimes, and you will be able to do that with Platte County High School's production of FOOTLOOSE. With its fun dancing, beautiful imagery, and amazing acting, why miss out on this blast from the past.
Park Hill High School
Submitted for publication to Platte County Citizen
FOOTLOOSE IS "STILL ROCKIN"
Platte County RIII High School's performance of FOOTLOOSE proves that "Dancing Is Not a Crime". With its fast-paced dancing and catchy music, FOOTLOOSE is quite the show to experience.
The musical FOOTLOOSE was based on the 1984 film of the same name, directed by Herbert Ross. The movie starred Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow. The musical adaptation of Footloose was premiered in 1998. FOOTLOOSE tells the story of Ren McCormick, who moves from Chicago to the small town of Bomont. Ren frequently attended the dance clubs in Chicago and is shocked when he finds out that dancing and rock n' roll is banned in Bomont. Ren tries to convince the Reverend Shaw Moore to change his mind and lift the ban.
Ren McCormick, the "new kid in town", is performed by Henry Lange. Lange shows his wide variety in acting, being able to switch from acting frivolous and carefree to heartbroken and much older than his years. Another aspect of McCormick's character is the choreography, which Lange perfects. He gives consistent energy throughout his entire performance, and never seems to be out of breath. The Reverend's daughter and Ren's love interest, Ariel Moore, is performed by Raena Sinclair. Sinclair's vocal power and bright makeup shows that Ariel is not the girl to mess with. Sinclair achieves the rebellious side of Ariel in her performance.
Ren's bully turned best friend is Willard Hewitt, who is performed by Walker Sperl. Sperl's comedic timing and vocal inflections polishes Willard's character. In the song "Mama Says", Sperl shows very unexpected vocal strength for his character. Ariel's mother, Vi Moore, is performed by Lexi Hogston. Hogston also shows incredible vocal strength in the songs "Learning to Be Silent" and "Can You Find It In Your Heart?". She shows the raw emotion of a parent trying to understand their child, and can convey anger and grief in one silent stare.
Since FOOTLOOSE is placed in the 1980s, it requires some bold makeup. Claire Lowry did an amazing job with the makeup designs. Lowry kept the designs time-period appropriate, and they were not too distracting from the acting on stage. The FOOTLOOSE pit band is also excellent. They sounded professional with little to no mistakes in tempo and intonation. Featured soloists in the FOOTLOOSE pit band were flawless.
The ensemble of FOOTLOOSE is phenomenal. Even when they were not in the spotlight, the performers were still engaged in the scene and never looked bored. However, some performers overreacted to certain scenes, and were distracting from the action that was happening on stage. The mics in FOOTLOOSE had little mistakes, where some soloists or people with lines did not have a mic, making it hard to hear them.
FOOTLOOSE is an excellent production by Platte County RIII High School. The show is captivating the entire time and is pleasing to the eye. The performance will make you lose your blues and cut footloose!