BG high’s “Footloose” is about more than fancy footwork

Mikayla Trimpey plays Rusty and Tucker Pendleton plays Willard Hewitt in "Footloose."

BG Independent News

This is not just some footloose and fancy free musical.

The stage musical version of “Footloose,” a story told twice on the big screen, touches on some serious issues, said Jo Beth Gonzalez, who directs the theater program at Bowling Green High School.

“There’s domestic violence,” she said, “loss of family, and death. … I actually think the stage play is richer.”

And, of course, lots of dancing. It is, after all, called “Footloose.”

“It’s a big dance show,” Gonzalez said.

Madelyn Utz plays Ariel and Logan Brown plays Ren in "Footloose."

Madelyn Utz plays Ariel and Logan Brown plays Ren in “Footloose.”











The musical will be on stage Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the center’s box office Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The dancing is one of the reasons senior Logan Brown wanted to audition for the lead. He loves to dance and used to perform with his sister Lauren.

Brown was excited that he would work with Bob Marzola, who is serving as choreographer.

Brown has been in all the musicals during his high school career, he said.  He’s said he was “super excited” to be taking on the role of Ren Mac Cormack, a teenager from the east who ends up in a southern town where dancing has been banned.

He’s an outsider “with daddy issues,” Brown said. He’s more than willing to push back against rules “that don’t make any sense.”

“You just need to have fun with it,” Brown said. “There’s a lot going on.”

When it was selected last spring, the musical team was in transition, Gonzalez said. Shawn Hudson was ready to take a sabbatical, so they would have to work with a new musical director. The technical director Carmen Rowlands was also leaving, and they didn’t know who would replace her.

Ryan Albrecht, with lots of theater experience at the university where he studied and in community theater, was hired. But at the time, that slot was an unknown. Also, part of the production team are Jeremy Sison,  orchestra director, Beth Vaughn, vocal director, and Sarah Caserta, producer.

Also the theater students were undergoing a transition with a lot of seniors graduated.

So the team opted for a simpler show without flying or major technical challenges.

Gonzales said the cast is on the younger side, but have picked up what they need to do quickly.

Also in the cast are: Grace O’Hare, Micah Smith, Claire Wells-Jensen, Maddy Utz, Mo Kellow, Drew Kelly, Kyle Nelson,  Jani Shope ,  Mikayla Trimpey, Elaine Hudson , Rachel Amburgey, Tyler Cook ,  Jeremiah Williams, Michael Martin, Taylor Barnette-Clifford,  Allie Larson, Tucker Pendleton, Allison Swanka, Hudson Pendleton, Natalie Carty, Micah McKanna, and Chris Brickner.

Also: Sydney Adler, Stephanie Bell, Sophia Bird, Alyssa Clemens, Britta Hodgkins, Sarah Kelly, Sarah Kerr, Dea Kukeli, Miranda Lentz, Julia Maas, Charlotte Perez, Sharissa Savage-Brown, Katy Slaughterbeck, Jenna Urban, Michaela Urban, Megan Worthy, Ashley Cochrane, Jillian Crowe, Megan Eddington, Hailey Kirchner and Lily Krueger.