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Footloose Gets Tapped for Spring Musical

Posted 12/09/2008 by Rhea Boyd

Michael Palmieri, Edwina Hebert and Drama Club begin to set the spring musical in motion.
by Rhea Boyd
illustration by Manny Perez
Footloose_SMALL.jpg    On Tuesday December 9th, Drama Director Michael Palmieri and Director of Vocal Music Edwina Hebert announced exclusively to the Journal that the 2009 Spring Musical will be Footloose.

    Palmieri and Hebert chose Footloose because of its compatibility with the drama team and its audience. “We had originally planned to do Working by Steven Schwartz, who did Godspell and Wicked, so we thought that would work for us. Even though it is a solid piece of social commentary, it just didn’t seem to fit with where our program was going. We wanted to do something dynamic, fun and exciting. We think Footloose fills that bill,” he said.

    Hebert added, “We wanted to choose a show that would be known among theater and movie fans, to help draw a large audience.”

    Auditions for Footloose will be held in the beginning of January. The students who audition will be expected to present a monologue, as well as complete a singing and dancing audition. Palmieri said that he and Hebert are looking for talent, heart and commitment.

    Footloose was originally a 1984 film that tells the story of a teenager who moves from Chicago to a small town. He encounters a city government that has banned dancing and rock music. Later in 1998 the concept was transformed into a Broadway musical and ran for 709 performances. The musical is packed full of high-energy music and dancing. “The music in Footloose is upbeat and fun, and rock and roll, which is a big change from the big band/ragtime style of Chicago,” said Hebert.

    Last Spring, Chicago ruled the stage in TJ’s auditorium. It attracted attention from students, faculty, parents and many community members.  This year the Drama Club will do its best to dazzle the audience with Footloose. “Chicago was a huge success, and a ton of fun for all of us to put on.  I think we will always consider life as BC/AC (before Chicago/after Chicago).  It set the standard for TJ’s productions at a new high, and showed what we’re all capable of, with some hard work and dedication.  I think that Chicago is just the tip of the iceberg of what we can do, and I expect that Footloose will come off just as smashingly, because we have amazing students who want to make something out of the Fine Arts at Thomas Jefferson,” said Hebert.

    Anyone interested in auditioning for or learning more about Footloose, there is an informational meeting being held in the Auditorium on Thursday, December 11 precisely after school.  “I would love to see new talent show up, because the cast can be as large as we’d like to make it for this show.  And I hope that everyone is ready to have a blast, because this show is going to be ridiculous,” Hebert proclaimed.