Outside look of ‘Footloose’ – A Cappies critic review of the show
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Cut loose and kick off your Sunday shoes with Haverford High School’s fun and energetic production of Footloose!
The show follows the story of Ren McCormack as he tries to shake things up in his new home, the town of Bomont. Dancing is illegal there thanks to the Reverend Shaw Moore who is trying to keep his town safe after a horrific car accident that took the life of his son and three other teens.
This musical was chock-full of high energy group numbers performed by the impressively large cast with gusto and spirit. The musical numbers were made even better with extraordinary harmonies, the success of which can be credited to not only the singers, but also to student vocal director, Jack Denman.
Transitions between scenes were seamless and speedy thanks to the stage crew, and each set piece added dimension and life to each environment. Although there were some spots where lines were lost, for the most part the sound was clear and of high quality. The Footloose Orchestra, led by student pit conductor E.J. Canny, was just as energetic as the performers onstage and fit perfectly with the rest of the show clad in flannel.
Scott Berkowitz skillfully portrayed the over excited and rebellious Ren McCormack and showed his vocal strength in every song. He anchored the essence of the show with everything he did. Haley Amdur brought variety to her character Ariel Moore, making her more complex than the part might suggest.
The two most vivacious characters were Willard and Rusty played by Jack Denman and Issy Swantak respectively. Denman was no doubt the heart of the show. His accent was spot on and never faltered. He showed his vocal and comedic strength in “Mama Says” where his presence sparkled. Swantak was fiery and animated at all times and performed fearlessly. The two had great chemistry throughout, especially in the adorable number “Let’s Hear it for the Boy.”
Vocally, one of the most memorable numbers was “Learning to be Silent” where Tess Mallon, Victoria Barbuto and Haley Amdur showed off their singing skills and remarkable harmonies that rung through the whole theater beautifully. Mallon also bought honestly and warmth to her song “Can You Find it in Your Heart.”
The cast and crew of Footloose proved to us all that “Dancing is not a Crime”, but instead, that it should be celebrated.
by Meredith Rupp of The Agnes Irwin School