Musical Jumps from Big Screen to Liberty | Arts & Culture
By Charlene Lopez, Liberty High School
As soon as the curtains opened, the music started and the 1980’s-based play Footloose opened up with its classic theme song. Energy and excitement immediately filled the Liberty Theatre.
This crowd-pleaser of a play, performed April 25-28, was well received. Throughout the performance, there was either an audience member laughing, singing along or crying with sympathy.
The singing was outstanding, especially from Ren McCormack played by senior Marlon Bulaong. The character was spunky and energetic with exquisite dance moves. He played the crowd well by getting everyone to immediately fall in love with the outcast from Chicago who wants to change the small town of Bomont.
Reverend Shaw Moore, played by senior Jason Kreitz, filled the walls of the theater with his deep harmonious voice and played the character of a reserved, closed-minded reverend with skill.
Towards the end of the play, audience members were torn with either agreeing with Ren and his changing ways or with Shaw, whose heart was broken with the death of his son, Bobby.
The female lead of Ariel Moore was played by sophomore Sharmaine Velasco. At first, Moore was portrayed as a rebellious, scandalous teenager who only wanted to impress the boys of Bomont, especially her abrasive and bad-boy boyfriend. Their romance was never convincing and every kiss seemed forced. The chemistry was not there, although the efforts were clearly made.
As the play progressed, Moore began to open up to her true and more likeable character whenever she was with Ren. The connection between them was very strong especially when joined in song. Her sweet and melodic voice joined together with his in perfect harmony and was a perfect example of a dream romance.
Rusty, played by junior Jessica Vance, had the audience laughing with her quirky, spontaneous character. Her projection was portrayed well especially when she sang with her ladies: Urleen, played by senior Jenelle Tamio, and Wendy Jo, played by junior Elena Salman.
The trio’s voices went very well together and personified typical teenage best friends. Their choreography was a bit repetitive, but was still able to portray each song’s emotion.
Vi Moore, played by junior Axenya Kachen, was a sympathetic, concerned wife and mother who always defended Ariel. When she was torn between choosing sides of the two and sang her emotions with “Can You Find It In Your Heart,” it brought tears to some audience members’ eyes.
The transition to each scene and movement with the props was very smooth and organized. The use of props was not over the top and fit to each scene. The lighting was in sync with the mood of every scene and the live bass, piano and drum players added to the clarity of the music. However, sometimes the music was a little too loud and overpowered the singers’ voices.
The choreography as a whole in the play was at times too basic. The lifts attempted were not well coordinated and a bit clumsy. The size of the cast at 40 looked like it may have overwhelmed the stage, but worked perfectly when they were all together on stage.
The closing scene of the play with the cast dressed up and going to prom was perfect timing with Liberty’s prom around the corner. It was full of joy, excitement and fun-filled dancing that left the audience a final emotion of satisfaction and closure.
As the curtain fell, most wished they had just a little more time with this lovable cast. Footloose was a true success.