Footloose planned for Chillicothe Summer Theater

Leslie Renken GateHouse Media Illinois
The cast of Footloose gather for a photo at a recent practice.

As part of its 20th season, Chillicothe Summer Theatre will present “Footloose” at 7:30 p.m. July 17, 18 and 19.

“It’s a very dance-heavy show,” said choreographer Lorelei Lawson. Almost all of the songs are from the Kevin Bacon movie, the 1983 version.”

“Almost Paradise,” “Holding out for a Hero,” “The Girl Gets Around” are all songs that people who went to high school in the 1980s are familiar with.

“It’s been fun introducing another generation to that music,” said Lawson. “A lot of our teen-aged performers, their parents graduated in the ’80s. They get to learn songs that their parents were dancing to.”

The cast of about 40 people consists mostly of teens, but a handful of adults play the adult characters, said director Alex Larson.

“It’s a coming of age story. Most people know it,” he said. “It’s about a small southern town that’s been affected by tragedy — fun and frivolity don’t really happen there anymore. Then a new family moves to town, a boy from Chicago who wants to dance and embrace life.”

IVC High School student Jack Mellen plays Ren McCormack, the character portrayed by Kevin Bacon in the movie. Katherine Heth, a recent graduate of IVC, plays Ariel Moore, McCormack’s rebellious love interest.

While the stage version of “Footloose” follows the main plot line of the movie, there’s a lot more dancing, said Larson. Another show highlight will happen during intermission.

“We have a homemade dessert at intermission at all three performances,” said Lawson. “You can go to dinner, then go see the show and have a lovely dessert at intermission.”

“Footloose” will be performed in the IVC High School auditorium, 1300 W. Sycamore St., in Chillicothe. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and senior citizens, and will be available at the door.