Siler City, NC – When it came time to choose a show to follow last year’s smash hit, “Grease,” Jordan-Matthews High School music and theater teacher Matthew Fry faced a difficult decision: How to top a completely sold-out production that was a beloved favorite of the whole community?
“It was a tough call and took us a long time,”said Fry. “But we are confident that fans of JM theater will enjoy a terrific show at ˜Footloose.’ Our cast is working hard to take our program to the next level.”
“Footloose” will be performed three times this month, November 19 through 21, at the Jordan-Matthews Auditorium.
Based on the popular 1984 film, “Footloose” tells the story of Chicago kid Ren McCormack and his encounter with the town of Bomont, Texas, where it’s illegal to dance. When Ren meets Ariel, daughter of Rev. Shaw Moore, he sets off a chain of events that leads townspeople to reconsider their decision.
“Footloose’ is the story of how the joy of dance helps an entire community put a tragic event behind them, allowing them to heal their broken hearts and move forward,” said Fry. “The small-town setting and the primarily teenage cast, make this show a great choice for high schools.”
The musical stars seniors Nick Guariglia as Ren and Mariann King as Ariel. “Nick and Mariann are veterans of the JM theater program and are doing a great job to bring these characters to life,” said Fry. “We are also thrilled to have JM graduate Jessica Nunn directing our actors.”
Nunn, artistic director of The Phoenix Theatre Company, is delighted to be working with more than 60 students from her alma mater. â€œThe actors have been very responsive and we’ve developed a lot of trust,” said Nunn. “That’s critical to good theatre, and the audience will, I hope, identify with these characters and their journeys.”
“Footloose,” which opened on Broadway in 1998 and ran for more than 700 performances, was nominated that year for four Tony Awards including Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. Rose Pate, who is producer for the local production, says “Footloose” is appropriate for tweens and up.
“As most people know, the original film was rated PG-13, primarily because of some mild vulgar language, and the musical is consistent with that,” said Pate, who also serves as president of JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation. “The content is in line with what most young teens see on TV and in films, but families may want to consider the content before bringing small children.
“But the message of the show, which is how a family and community rebuild their relationships is very family-friendly.”
“Footloose” runs from Nov. 19 to 21 at the Jordan-Matthews Auditorium. Performances are Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 each and available online at jmhs.seatyourself.biz until 12 hours before curtain. Remaining tickets will be sold at the box office before each performance. Everyone attending, including young children, must purchase a ticket; no passes of any kind are accepted.
For photos and more information, visit the JMArts Facebook page at JMArts.org.
Jordan-Matthews High School Presents
(in alphabetical order)
Jonathan Aguilar Vega
Abigail Andrade Gonzalez
Mariana De La Cruz-Plata
Ana Orellana Lopez
Leslie Ruiz Santiago
Josue Tavares Zapata
Madelaine Tolentino Alba
Mark Dillon, guitar
Mary Clayton Liles, piano
Justin Harper, drums
Cynthia Bredenberg, wardrobe and choreography
Jean Bullis, hair and makeup
Matthew Fry, musical director
Joy Hinshaw, stage manager
Kaitlin James, choreography
Ting Lam, scenery
Rahama Mateen-Mason, scenery
Jessica Nunn, director
Austin Partin, sound
Rose Pate, producer
Mark Riggsbee, set construction