“Footloose” Knocks the Socks off of Brewster Audiences

Even Kevin Bacon wished us good luck!

Shayla Franklin, Contributing Writer

Moving in from Chicago, newcomer Ren McCormack (Lucas Bertone) is in shock after his single mother Ethel (Katherine Sullivan) has to relocate him to live with his Aunt Lulu (Shayla Franklin) and Uncle Wes (Michael Baio). He then discovers that this small Midwestern town he now calls home has made dancing and rock music illegal. As he struggles to fit in, Ren faces an uphill battle to change things. With the help of his new friend Willard Hewitt (Marko Tyhansky) and defiant teen Ariel Moore (Tessa Boissonnault), he might loosen up this conservative town. But Ariel’s influential father, Reverend Shaw Moore (Matthew Kilman), stands in the way. The show filled with classic 80s hits captivated the audience and transported them into the town of Bomont.

The production was filled with jaw-dropping vocals from Ariel’s friends Rusty (Arianna Arocho), Urleen (Ivelisse Arocho), and Wendy Jo (Mia Irizarry). They carried the show along through their breathtaking songs, “Somebody’s Eyes,” “Holding Out for a Hero,” and Rusty’s solo “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.”

Although Reverend Shaw Moore (Kilman) was supposed to be the villain the entire production, you couldn’t help but feel for him as he gets on his knees in desperation, longing for his daughters’ love. You can feel the disconnect as he loses himself in his relationship with not only his daughter Ariel, but his wife Vi (Megan Griffin). He’s trying so hard to earn his daughters affection and is failing so often that he starts to question if he is leading his congregation down the right path. Although this production was only this actor’s 2nd production, Kilman captivated the audience and stole the show. His songs “Heaven Help Me,” “Can You Find It in Your Heart,” and “I Confess” brought the house to tears as you could hear him trying so hard to be a good father and still not being successful.

The women of this show, Vi (Griffin) and Ethel (Sullivan) though young actors, presented powerful vocals and maturity in their voices alongside Ariel in their song “Learning to Be Silent.” They displayed the way they felt silenced over years and how they have grown accustomed to it. It really adds an insight into these women’s minds, as the show mainly focuses on the conflict between Ren and the Reverend.

Overall, this was a fabulous production and is bringing back BHS Musical Theater. After COVID-19, the cast was very tiny, with only 12 members in each cast for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. But with Footloose, there were over 30 cast members who really showed enthusiasm to be back on the stage. They took the choreography Nikki Siriani gave them and put their hearts and souls into it. The partner dancing was impeccable, and it truly showed the cast member’s excitement to be performing again.