‘Footloose’ grooves its way toward the dance floor

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published March 15, 2017

 Warren Woods Tower High School and Warren Woods Middle School students who currently comprise the Warren Woods Drama Club — will bring “Footloose” live to the WWMS stage March 24-26.

Warren Woods Tower High School and Warren Woods Middle School students who currently comprise the Warren Woods Drama Club — will bring “Footloose” live to the WWMS stage March 24-26.

WARREN — When Warren Woods Tower High School senior Evan Mach first saw the 1984 movie “Footloose,” starring Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer, one aspect that struck him was how hard Bacon’s character, Ren McCormack, passionately fought for what he believed in.

For WWTHS junior Steven Kaiser, the film wasn’t as deep, but more of a great story that served its purpose of entertaining audiences.

Although they have different views on the movie, which came out years before they were born, both students are huge fans of the story. They — along with 28 other WWTHS and Warren Woods Middle School students who currently comprise the Warren Woods Drama Club — will bring “Footloose” live to the WWMS stage March 24-26.

In “Footloose,” Mach plays lead character Ren McCormack. All McCormack wants to do is dance, but the small town he just moved to won’t allow him to kick up his heels. In the community of Bomont, dancing and music are outlawed, and it’s the new kid in town who puts his boogie shoes on the line to change that.

In the play, it was the Rev. Shaw Moore, portrayed by sophomore Zac Sikes, who banned dancing and rock music. He felt everyone needed to be “saved” after his son’s death, which the reverend felt was brought on by rock ‘n’ roll and dancing.

McCormack’s presence shakes up the town when the young teen pursues his goal of holding a high school prom and bringing back music and dancing. So, “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” as he tries to pull it off despite the backlash from his classmates and the rest of the town.

“Footloose” calls for acting, singing and dancing, and the drama club can’t wait for opening night. Amy Ricker is the show’s director and promises that the students are “working very hard.” The musical — set to a soundtrack of “Holding Out for a Hero,” “I Can’t Stand Still,” “Mama Says” and the kick-off-your-shoes danceable “Footloose,” — struck a chord with its cast members.

“What it truly symbolizes for me is in society today you see it in a lot of things,” Mach said. “There’s going to be passions you have. If they’re important enough to you, they’re worth fighting for. Ren fights for this passion.”

“It’s the story of overcoming obstacles,” said senior Hannah Mitchell, who plays Ariel Moore, the reverend’s rebellious teenage daughter. “For Ariel, it’s Ren who makes her feel she can be a better person. She’s definitely wild in the play. I’m much more on the shy side of things.”

“I love to act. I like being different characters,” said Kaiser, who was cast as Willard and befriends McCormack early in the show.

“He’s the one kid who tries to help out the new kid,” Kaiser said. That happened in real life for the two actors when Mach first came to WWTHS in the 10th grade.

“I knew nobody. This was all new to me,” Mach said.

“He joined our swim team and became our family member,” Kaiser said.

While the movie “Footloose” is 33 years old, a remake of the film starring Julianne Hough was released in 2011, but it’s the ’84 version that steals the show.

“The original is definitely the way to go,” Mitchell said. A highlight for her is the duet of “Almost Paradise” she sings with Mach.

“It’s filled with so much emotion,” Mitchell said.

In the show, sophomore Katrina Fortune plays Ariel’s best friend, Rusty, and senior Faith Olesky was cast as the reverend’s wife, Vi Moore.

Showtime is at 7 p.m. March 24-25 and 2 p.m. March 26, inside the Warren Woods Middle School auditorium, 13400 E. 12 Mile Road in Warren. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens.