WHAT: “Footloose”

WHO: Community Little Theatre

WHEN: at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15-16 and 22-23; at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17 and 24

WHERE: air-conditioned Lewiston Middle School auditorium

TICKETS: call 783-0958 or visit www.laclt.com.

CLT cast gets ready to rock ‘n’ roll in


LEWISTON – Gotta dance.

If there’s a single phrase that sums up “Footloose,” that’s it.

Community Little Theatre will bring this energy-packed stage production about teen rebellion and repression to the Lewiston Middle School stage beginning Friday, Aug. 15. A large cast has been assembled by director Richard Martin, and some of that talent has been seen and applauded in recent previews of “Footloose” numbers at Lewiston and Portland locations.

The plot is about a city boy who moves to a small town where a repressive local minister and town officials have banned dancing and rock ‘n’ roll music. The story of young love and triumph over intolerance is secondary to the show’s infectious music and dance numbers.

“It’s the kind of show that can make a lot of audience members remember and feel what being young is all about,” Martin said.

“Footloose” gained fame as a 1984 movie that catapulted Kevin Bacon to stardom. It was made into a Broadway musical in 1998 and had a recent successful revival in London.

The stage adaptation is by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie, with music by Tom Snow and lyrics by Pitchford. “Footloose” was nominated for several Tony awards.

The lead roles of Ren, the streetwise Chicago boy, and Ariel, the troubled daughter of the town’s unyielding preacher, are played by Carl Zurhorst and Molly Keane-Dreyer. They are returning from last year’s sold-out CLT production of “High School Musical.”

Also back from that show is James Kramlich, who portrays Chuck, Ariel’s abusive boyfriend.

Vin Brown, who plays Rev. Shaw, recently relocated from Maryland to a home in Raymond. Paulette Brooks plays the minister’s wife.

CLT veteran Phil Vampatella appears as the high school principal. Owen Davis is cast in a key role as Willard Hewitt, the slow-witted but intuitive young cowboy whose support inspires Ren and others to go for a reversal of the town’s dance-ban ordinance.

Martin said Davis has one of the show’s highlight musical numbers. It’s called “Mama Says” and it is new to the stage production. Martin describes it as “a recruitment song” in which Willard convinces his high-school friends that they can’t back down.

“We’re approaching this as more of an ensemble piece,” Martin said.

He praised the work of choreographer Mariah Perry, noting that the show is filled with energetic and exuberant dance numbers. He emphasized that the dance numbers are “organic,” growing out of the plot situations rather than being thrown in for effect.

“Footloose” opens to the rhythms and moves of a Chicago dance club and concludes with a victorious finale dance at the Beaumont High School prom.

Besides the title song, a 1980s hit for singer Kenny Loggins, the show includes “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” “Holding Out for a Hero,” and “Almost Paradise.”

Other cast members are Alexis Handy as Willard’s girlfriend, Rusty; Emily Akeley as Urleen; Ashley DeBlois as Wendy Jo; Brett Delawter as Lyle; Debra Kramlich as Ren’s mother, Ethel McCormack; Stefaney Bachelder; Driia Dean; Jennifer Dionner; Ryan Dubois; Laura Hanson; Chris Hodgkin; Natasha Johnson; Jesse Juntura; Derek Lacasse; Debra Mansur; Kenneth Mansur; Amanda Martin; Brittany Martin; Hannah Martin; Mary Anne Moisan; Rosalyn Moisan; Rebecca Morris; Loretta Perry; Ashton Plummer; Taylor Rousseau; Angela Simpson; Chelsea Vincent; and Tasha Vye.

The production team includes Karen Mayo, producer and costume designer; Adam P. Blais, stage manager and costume designer; Darren Avery, musical director; Kira Gavin; assistant to the choreographer; Katy Bouchard, assistant stage manager; Paula Masselli, properties master; Mallory Cyr; publicity; and Chad Gagnon; lighting programmer and operator.

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