‘Footloose’ opens Friday at Tupper Lake High School

Students from the Tupper Lake High School perform in “Footloose” in the school’s auditorium. The play will take the stage March 8-10. (Photo provided)

TUPPER LAKE — As Ecclesiastes states, there is a time to dance, and that time will be next weekend as the Red & Black Players present “Footloose: The Musical” in the Tupper Lake Middle/High School auditorium Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m., and March 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children and senior citizens and will be available at the door.

When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school.

What he isn’t prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, determined to exercise the control over the town’s youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. The heartfelt story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him.

To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar- and Tony-nominated top-40 score (the soundtrack album reached number one on the Billboard charts) and augmented with dynamic new songs for the stage musical, “Footloose: The Musical” celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people, guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind.

Music is by Tom Snow, with lyrics by Dean Pitchford and stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie. Based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford, with additional music by Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, and Jim Steinman, “Footloose: The Musical” is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals. Stage Director George Cordes and music director Elizabeth Cordes have again been joined by choreographer Emily Brown, along with lighting Director David Naone and Assistant Director/Stage Manager Danielle LaMere.

The cast includes Noah Cordes as Ren, with Sophia Martin as Ariel, Stephanie Fortune as her friend, Rusty, and Bryce Davison as Willard. Leading the “adults” of the cast are Jonathan McCulloch as Reverend Shaw, Saide Johnson as his wife, Vi, and Alyssah Martinez as Ren’s mom, Ethel. Other cast includes Shae Arsenault, Cody Auclair, Karen Bujold, Jayce Clement, Garrett Dewyea, Olivia Ellis, Caitlyn Fleming, Raegan Fritts, Jessica Mitchell, Meika Nadeau, Lowden Pratt, Emily Roberts, Lily St. Onge, Nolan Savage, Emily Sipler, Emileigh Smith, and Jenna Switzer.

Stage crew for “Footloose: The Musical” will be Patricia Bankich (assistant stage manager), Ben Jones, Kiana Nadeau, Genna Carmichael, Danielle Delair, Lexi Goodwin, Molly Sullivan, and Zachary Smith. Lighting crew are Matthew Whitmore, Kassandra Sipler, and Johnathan Jauron.

There will be a bake sale and flowers for sale during all three performances.

With “Footloose: The Musical,” the Red & Black Players celebrate their 13th anniversary of bringing musical theatre to Tupper Lake.

Previous shows include last year’s “Guys and Dolls,” along with “Godspell,” “Anything Goes,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “All Night Strut: A Jumpin’, Jivin’, Jam!,” “Bye, Bye Birdie,” “The Boy Friend,” “Seussical: The Musical,” “Annie,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” and “Back to the 80s: The Totally Awesome Musical.”

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