Thirty years later, the music still rocks it on the radio, and the storyline is timeless. Whether it was Elvis shaking his hips in the 1950s, the Rolling Stones in the 1960s or the disco era of the 70s, generations of parents have continued to say the same thing: “What’s up with these kids today and their music?”
Attempts to control their teenagers’ unending quest to push the envelope and challenge authority often has a reverse effect – and there few better illustrations of that phenomenon than the story told in Dean Pitchford’s hit movie “Footloose.”
Over the next two weekends, more than 100 cast and crew members with the Wauwatosa West High School Trojan Players will present “Footloose – The Musical.” The high energy, raucous production, based on the 1984 movie, launched the careers of several stars, including Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jon Lithgow. The songs from the movie climbed the charts back in the 80s.
Favorites like “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” “Footloose” and “Holding Out for a Hero,” will be sung by some of West’s finest on the West stage starting with the opening night performance at 7 p.m. Friday. Additional performances take place at 7 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 11 and 12, with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. The cast is accompanied by an 11-piece rock band comprised of talented musician teachers and students on keyboard, electric guitar, drums and more.
Big-city boy moves to Bomont
Footloose centers on the story of Ren, a boy who moves from the big city of Chicago to sleepy, rural Bomont. The outspoken city boy turns the town upside down when he challenges the local minister and town board’s ban on dancing.
The story is about loss, redemption, learning to let go and growing up in a world where rules don’t always make sense. It reminds us that we were all once kids who challenged authority and that when adults and teens take the time to listen to one another, understanding is deepened and everybody learns something valuable.
Tosa West theater director Tim Catlett has been working with the cast since the middle of summer, with pre-audition dance workshops and try-outs held before the start of the school year. For the last two months, the students have been learning lines, lyrics and some serious choreography while an ambitious stage crew worked on building an impressive set.
A preview dress rehearsal Wednesday in front of a small crowd of parents and family members showed the students are ready to rock Wauwatosa. 'Footloose' is hot right now – the movie remake just opened in theaters across the country Oct. 15, renewing interest in the 1980s music and the story.
“I believe this will be one of the best shows we’ve ever done at West,” Catlett said. “The commitment and dedication these students have shown is surreal and it will all pay off when we open tomorrow night to a large crowd.
"I really hope the community shows up to appreciate their fine work over the next two weekends. They will not be disappointed.”
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students with ID/seniors/teachers with ID. Show is recommended for ages 10 and up due to brief language and a tense fight scene. The Trojan Players are asking patrons to bring a pair of clean, gently used or new men’s, women’s or children’s shoes or boots to benefit their footwear drive for the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.
Those who donate will receive $1 off their ticket price at the door or receive $1 refund if tickets were pre-purchased online. The Milwaukee Rescue Mission desperately needs the footwear for their clients as the Wisconsin winter weather sets in.
Reserved seating can be purchased online now at Seatyourself.biz/TrojanPlayers. In person ticket sales with cash, check or credit card will be available prior to each show at the school. The box office opens 60 minutes prior to each performance; we recommend if buying onsite, please arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the performance. Online ticket purchases are recommended for best choice of reserved seating (all seats are reserved) and to avoid the lines.
For more information, call the ticket line at 414-773-3219. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wauwatosa West High School activities office during regular school hours.
Footloose – the Musical
At: Wauwatosa West High School, 11400 W. Center St.
Showtimes: 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Nov. 11 and 12
2 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $15 for adults; $10 seniors and students with IDs
Online reserved seating can be purchased at: Seatyourself.biz/trojanplayers