Group to present ‘Footloose’

FAIRMONT – A piece of 1980s nostalgia will be revived at Fairmont Opera House next week, when Civic Summer Theater presents “Footloose.”

Performances of the musical will be 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Aug. 3.

Those who have seen the movie might notice some changes.

“Some of the physical action in the movie is not possible on stage,” said director Cliff Janke. “I remember when we did this at the high school, they asked how we were going to do the ‘chicken’ scene (in which two characters play a game of chicken on tractors). I told them, ‘We aren’t.’ But there’s lots of dancing and good music. It’s fun because of the ’80s era, so a lot of people can relate. But the young people in the play, when given tips on costumes, we’ve been met with blank stares.”

The play differs from past Civic Summer Theater performances due to the heavy choreography, and Tari Riley has been brought in as a choreographer.

“It’s a real treat for me and the cast for something different,” Janke said. “It’s good to have someone to dedicate completely to that, and plus she’s good at it.”

The storyline remains similar to the movie: A young man, Ren (played by Grant Becker) and his mother (Megan Heller) move to a small farming town where dancing has been outlawed and rock music is frowned upon, thanks to the local minister (Bart Clayton).

“They’ve gotten really strict because of this car crash,” Janke said. “And what we learn later is that the minister’s son was one of the kids that was killed in that crash.”

Janke said the play includes a few more songs than the movie.

“It’s a fun show, then we have 15 minutes where there is some serious soul-searching with the minister, then we go back to happy and we have to make that believable and not bring the show down,” Janke said. “I think our cast is doing a great job with that.”

Other characters include Ariel, the minister’s rebellious daughter and Ren’s love interest, played by Danielle Cagle.

Lori Smart plays the minister’s wife; Zach Brown plays Willard, Ren’s friend; Megan McDermott plays Rusty; while Blake Pothoff plays Ariel’s boyfriend, Chuck.

Tickets are available at Hy-Vee, and will become available at Fairmont Opera House on Monday afternoon. They are $12 for adults and $6 for students.