'Footloose' cast kicks off production, shoes

Finals can't stop that dancing spirit

Take off your Sunday shoes and get ready for the Pauper Players’ spring performance of “Footloose.”

The musical, made popular in the hit 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon, opens Friday in Playmakers Theatre.

“Footloose” centers on the story of Ren, a young Chicago transplant who moves with his mother to a small farm town.

Ren is unprepared for the culture shock that awaits him when he learns that rock music and dancing are illegal in the conservative pastoral community.

The vice laws are the brainchild of a vindictive reverend.

And when the preacher’s young and rebellious daughter takes a shine to Ren, her jealous boyfriend sets out to ruin Ren’s reputation.

What follows is Ren’s struggle to fight against the town ordinance in a classic tale of repression and teen rebellion.

The score features music by Kenny Loggins and Sammy Hagar as well as several new songs — not heard in the movie — that have been added to the musical.

The cast and crew have been gearing up for what they say will be an exciting performance.

“It’s a great triple-threat show,” said choreographer Ashley Barbour. “There’s great acting, great music and the dancing is really intense.”

Although the opening of the show falls close to final exams, those affiliated with “Footloose” said there’s no reason not to go.

“It’ll be a fun break to take people’s minds off of exams,” said Lexie Kuhn, the show’s producer.

Barbour added, “It’s another form of procrastination.”

Although the Pauper Players are a student-run organization, several nonstudents are also involved in the production.

“We have a really diverse cast,” Kuhn said. “We even have some Duke (University) students.”

The cast and crew have logged a large number of hours into the production of the show.

“It’s been pretty stressful,” said Katie Wicker, the show’s stage manager. “We have five rehearsals a week from seven to 11. It’s been fun, it’s just a lot of work,” she said.

Wicker said she thinks that hard work has paid off and that people should come support the show and the efforts of the cast and crew.

“People put a lot of work into it, and we really enjoy doing this.”

Wicker said the show will be a chance for students who are not studying the arts to expand their horizons.

“The people in it aren’t drama majors, mostly, so it’s a chance for kids who love drama but are not able to be majors to do what they like to do,” she said.

The show will run the weekend before and after final exams.

“It’s fun,” said Kuhn.

“It’ll be worth the seven bucks.”

Contact the A&E Editor at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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