Shows F

FOOTLOOSE Book by Dean Pitchford and David Saint. Based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford. Music and lyrics by Eric Carmen, Michael Gore, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, Tom Snow, Jim Steinman, Bill Wolfer and Dean Pitchford Richard Rodgers Theatre - October 22, 1998 (21 prev & 737 perfs) Novello Theatre, London - 18 April, 2006 SYNOPSIS When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, Ren is prepared for the adjustment to his new high school. What he isn't prepared for are the local laws - including a ban on dancing - which are the brainchild of a local preacher bent on exercising control over the town's youths. When the Reverend's rebellious daughter sets her heart on Ren, her boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren's reputation and many of the locals are eager to believe the worst about the new kid. With its Oscar'-nominated hit score (the film soundtrack album has sold over 15 million copies world-wide) the celebrated film musical now bursts explosively onto the stage STORY Chicago. Any workday of any week. Young people unwind at their favourite dance club where, tonight, they say goodbye to Ren McCormack. Because Ren's father deserted him and his mother, they are being forced to move in with her sister's family in some small town nobody has ever heard of, Bomont, where the spiritual life of the community is carefully monitored by the powerful local minister Reverend Shaw Moore. Ren quickly finds himself at odds with the repressive, stifling atmosphere in Bomont. The only person seemingly unfazed by Reverend Moore's iron-fisted control is his own daughter Ariel. She runs around with the local bad boy Chuck Cranston, who is sure that he's got the preacher's daughter all figured out. At school, Ren discovers an unlikely friend in Willard Hewitt, somewhat the country yokel, who is unnerved by Ren's restless energy. When Ren is stunned to discover that no dancing of any kind is allowed at any time anywhere within the town limits of Bomont, Ariel's best friends - Rusty, Urleen and Wendy Jo - pull him aside to explain that this law dates back five years to a car accident that claimed the lives of four Bomont teenagers. In the flood of grief and guilt that followed that tragedy, the Rev. Moore managed to convince the Town Council to ban dancing. The girls warn Ren the climate of fear and suspicion that pervades Bomont is all part of small-town living and, in his first months in town, he discovers just how right they are. When Reverend Moore's wife Vi tries to ease ongoing tensions between her daughter and her husband, Shaw refuses to discuss the unpleasantness. Vi gets unexpected support from Ren's mum Ethel, who empathises with Vi's frustration at having to bite her tongue and bide her time. At the local diner, Ariel's girlfriends bemoan the lack of exciting boys in their lives, and Ariel gets them to join in her fantasy about finding a guy who amazes me. When Chuck storms in and becomes abusive with Ariel, Ren leaps to her defence. In appreciation Ariel lets Ren in on her private ritual - running through the fields of Bomont, yelling after the trains that will one day, she vows, carry her for away from here. Ren and Ariel find it surprisingly easy to talk but, after Ren walks Ariel home, Shaw demands that she never see Ren again, leading to even further strain within the family. On his way home that same night, Ren is beaten up by a jealous Chuck and his cronies, Travis and Lyle, and the next day, in gym class, when his injuries don't get any sympathy from his coach, Ren's anger and exasperation explode; he vows to take on this town and incites a revolution by his classmates: We're going to throw a dance! His campaign immediately catches the attention of Reverend Moore and sets the stage for even more conflict to come.