Kick off your Sunday shoes -- and get ready to dance.
Saint Viator High School presents "Footloose," and 175 performers in two separate casts will blow your socks off with their energy and talent.
The show opens Friday, though opening night tickets already are sold out. Tickets remain available for the performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday, as well as 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and 8. The closing show on Feb. 9 is sold out.
All tickets are $12 and may be obtained by calling the box office at (847) 392-4050, ext. 349.
This is second time that Saint Viator will stage the popular story of city teenager Ren McCormack, who moves to a small town and shakes things up as he drives a campaign to bring back rock music and dancing.
"That's what I love about the show, all the dancing," says junior Mike Scully, who shares the role of Ren with junior John McManus, both of Arlington Heights.
"The ensemble scenes are huge, " Scully adds, "and I even get to do some break dancing, which is really fun."
The musical was so popular with Saint Viator students that 230 of them auditioned for the show, leading to the largest cast ever, said Director Kate Costello.
Still, while the show's namesake song and breakout dance is well known, its serious story line is perhaps overlooked, Costello says.
She points to the struggle that parents will recognize in finding the right balance between protecting their children and providing them enough freedom to mature.
The other story line underlining much of the plot is grief, as Ren struggles to come to terms with being separated from his father, while Ariel, the girl he befriends, and her family are grieving over the loss of her brother.
Seniors Clare Supplitt of Arlington Heights and Colleen Drolet of Inverness share the role of Vi Moore, Ariel's mother, opposite seniors Ryan Wolfe of Arlington Heights and Matt Beiswenger of Fox River Grove, who play the Rev. Shaw Moore."
"Vi sings a song, 'Learning to be Silent,' that really says it all," Supplitt says. "She's trying to convince her husband that they need to listen more and realize that they may not always be right."
Senior Parker Simonaitis of Inverness and junior Jerry Cavanagh of Arlington Heights share the role of Chuck, Ariel's rebel boyfriend, while senior Natalie Olson of Prospect Heights and junior Maria Werba of Arlington Heights share the part of Ariel.
"It's really a challenge to play someone I'm not," Olson said. "Ariel's so out there and just always looking for ways to make her dad notice her."
The final scene, with the entire ensemble singing and dancing to the show's title song, will exhilarate audience members. But its more subtle themes of parental control and dealing with grief may stay with them long after they leave the theater.
"Both of these themes deal with importance of listening," Costello adds, "understanding, forgiving and moving on."
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