Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Footloose Hits TJ

Posted 03/12/2009 by Manny Perez

Footloose will be performed on March 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st at 7PM. photo by Manny Perez.

Set for March 18th through 21st, Thomas Jefferson’s rendition of Footloose is ready to hit the stage.

The musical, based on the 1984 movie of the same name, tells the story of a teenager from Chicago moving to a small town which has banned dancing and rock-and-roll due to a local tragedy. TJ’s performance features a cast coming from other productions such as Chicago and Moon Over Buffalo, along with a host of new faces to the department. “I really love the cast. It’s a fabulous bunch of people led by some great leads and everybody throughout the company is doing a great job,” said Michael Palmieri, acting director for the play.

The original cast has changed several times – and as recently as last week – but now all directors see a unified group. “We got off to kind of a rough start because everyone didn’t realize quite what the expectation was, how high we set the bar, how hard we all have to work together to do that, but we’re starting to see that happening,” said Palmieri. “The good news is, because we have some new people, now that they’re on board, we’ll have a lot of them for a couple of years and it’ll only improve.”

The actors have been working for three months learning all original songs, dances, and acting parts. Lead actors Caleb Johnson and Natalee Pinson have seen a surge of exuberance the closer the show gets to the premier. “In the very beginning we had some issues, but now we’re making double time progress. The last couple weeks have been great practices. It’s actually coming out beautifully,” said Johnson.

“We’ve gotten very productive in the last few weeks,” said Pinson. “It’s just continuing to snowball, getting better and better.”

Musical director for the play, Edwina Herbert is enthusiastic about the show’s variety and dynamism. “The music to Footloose is super super fun. It’s fast, up-tempo, there’s disco, there’s rock and roll, there’s blues. It’s just genuinely fun, fun music,” said Herbert. The show will be featuring professional musicians, with students doing original voice work.  “Everybody who has a singing part is a total rock star. Everyone’s really excited to do an awesome show,” said Herbert.

Everybody who has a singing part is a total rock star. Everyone’s really excited to do an awesome show.

Wendy Doyle, dance director for Footloose is a new addition to the drama department. After Carole Fulkerson, original dance director for the play, had to withdraw, Doyle was happy to take up the role. “Anytime you’re trying to get twenty people to do the same thing can be difficult,” laughs Doyle. “But it’s going well, considering the time constraint we’re under. I think the kids are catching on to it; it’s just a lot of repetition and a lot more practice, and we’ll pull it off.”

Footloose will be performed on March 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st at 7PM in the Thomas Jefferson auditorium. Tickets are available in advance from any cast member or drama and choir teacher, or at the door. “The music is great, we have some wonderful people, I think it’s gonna be a really cool show,” said Palmieri.

Cast List
Caitlin Barley – Company
Andrew Becker – Company /Lyle/ Willard Hewitt
Melissa Fife – Vi Moore
Bethany Gillespie – Company/Lulu Warnickey
Whitney Hackbath – Company/Principal/Clark/Bickle
Shanel Hughes – Company/Travie/Cowgirl/ Ethel McCormack
Caleb Johnson – Ren McCormack
Kelly Lewis – Coach Dunbar
Megan Lussier – Wendy Jo
Sarah Martin – Rusty
D’Aaron Moore – Chuck Cranston
Alex Palmer – Company/Betty Blast/Cop
Manny Perez – Cowboy Bob
Gena Pinson – Company/Eleanor
Natalee Pinson – Ariel Moore
Dan Rios – Rev. Shaw Moore
Anna Romero – Urleen
Lorraine Seals-Williams – Company
Karysa Sorenson – Company