Tupper Lake students cut “Footloose”

Noah Cordes and other Tupper Lake High School students rehearse Wednesday night for the school’s production of “Footloose.” (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

TUPPER LAKE — Everybody cut, everybody cut …

The Tupper Lake High School will perform “Footloose” this weekend.

The musical is based on the 1984 movie of the same name, which starred Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow and Sarah Jessica Parker in the lead roles. “Footloose” has gone down as one of the stereotypical ’80s movies, the type that’s pretty corny but has a strong following. A remake was brought to theaters in 2011 with little fanfare.

Both the movie and the musical follow the story of Ren McCormack, a cool kid from Chicago who moves to the small town of Bomon, Utah, where the local minister has managed to ban rock ‘n’ roll and dancing. McCormack starts a relationship with the minister’s daughter, Ariel Moore, who may look like the perfect angel on the surface, but that’s just to please her parents.

The major difference between the show and the movie is that in the show, the characters not only dance but sing, too. That can be quite a workout, according to some of the cast.

Sophia Martin and Jayce Clement rehearse Wednesday night for Tupper Lake High School’s production of “Footloose.” (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

“In my one solo number, ‘I Can’t Stand Still.’ I’m tap dancing and singing at the same time. The problem I come into contact with is running out of breath,” said Noah Cordes, who plays Ren. “You’ve also got to stay in rhythm, keeping an ear on the music and thinking about what you’re singing.

“It was a hurdle, but a very fun hurdle. Everybody’s loved the practices and have made big improvements.”

Cordes graduates this June and has been a mainstay of the school’s theater program for years. His parents, Liz and George, who are directing this musical, introduced him to dance at a young age.

“My parents enrolled me in a tap class when I was 4, but I quickly fell in love with it and have done it ever since,” he said.

Stephanie Fortune, who plays Rusty, said she’s danced a little bit in the past, but mainly for the school productions.

Playing churchgoing citizens of a Utah town, Tupper Lake High School students rehearse Wednesday night for the school’s production of “Footloose.” (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

“There’s a lot of coordinating and a lot of younger kids, so it takes some time to work out the kinks, but we do it,” Fortune said.

The cast starts working with pit musicians only a few days before showtime.

“We have to make little adjustments, but the players are really solid long before they come in, and so are we,” Fortune said.

Sophia Martin, who plays Ariel, will also graduate this year. She and Cordes said “Footloose” is a good show with which to end their high school careers.

“I’ve been doing this since the seventh grade, and I think this is probably my favorite show,” Martin said. “I like the movie, too. I’ve seen both, but the first is obviously so much better.”

Stephanie Fortune, center, and other Tupper Lake High School students rehearse Wednesday night for the school’s production of “Footloose.” (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

“Getting everybody into character and immersing them in the role can be difficult, but it’s also rewarding,” Cordes said. “The best part is building a chemistry with the rest of the cast. A lot of these people are new this year, and it’s been great getting to know them. Everybody’s gotten better and much more comfortable. It’s fun to see that, as a veteran.”

If you go…

What: “Footloose” musical theater production

Where: Tupper Lake Middle-High School, 25 Chaney Ave., Tupper Lake

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

How much: $10 adults, $7 children and seniors

View/purchase photos from the “Footloose” dress rehearsal here.

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