Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
Directed by Douglas E. Stark
Sharp directing and on-the-mark performances make this a fine production of a musical with a lot of heart, humor and honesty. Footloose
first appeared as a 1984 film (screenplay and lyrics by Dean Pitchford, music by Tom Snow) that was inspired by a 1980 event in a small Oklahoma community. The stage musical, adapted by Pitchford and Walter Bobbie with additional music, opened on Broadway in 1998. Footloose
in both mediums earned nominations for Oscars, Grammy, Golden Globe and Tony awards. Beef & Boards brought the musical to its stage in 2002, featuring Indianapolis-based actor Eddie Curry as Rev. Shaw Moore. Curry reprises the role and again brings dimension to a man who turns personal loss into a community-wide albatross of over-bearing parental control and an ordinance against dancing within city limits. The arrival of Chicago-born Ren, with his own loss to confront, shakes things up. The energetic cast of sixteen, some taking on dual roles, brings distinctive personalities to each character. Particular notice goes to Indianapolis-based Megan McKinney as Ren's mother and in a delightful turn-around you have to witness for yourself. McKinney and Janet Essenpries, portraying Vi Moore, provide one of the most touching moments with the duet ballad, "Learning to be Silent," a sterling example of Stark's finesse as a director. Throughout, it's attention to the small details that makes this a go-to production. Doug King's choreography engagingly grows out of the story. Brian Horton's period costumes and the orchestra under Kristy Templet's musical direction merit mention. Through March 21; tickets at 317-872-9664 and www.beefandboards.com.