Footloose – now at the Dunfield Theatre, Cambridge

Please Note: This review was written in July 2015 when this production of Footloose was in Grand Bend.  The show has now been remounted at the Dunfield Theatre, Cambridge, on stage until October 30, 2016. There are some cast changes.  Call the Box Office: 1-855-drayton (372-9866) for tickets. 

Everybody Cut Loose!

Time-travelling back to the 1980s is the perfect way to spend a hot mid-summer night.  If you’re relaxing in the ‘Bend, then head right out to Huron Country Playhouse to cut loose with Footloose.

Footloose is based on a true story of a small town where dancing was outlawed.  In this version, like the 1984 movie, the town’s preacher, Rev. Shaw Moore bans dancing after his son is killed in a car accident coming home from a bar.   Into this strict, stifling, small town atmosphere, Ren McCormack reluctantly arrives from Chicago.  He and his mother Ethel move to the town of Bomont to live with her sister, after Ren’s father abandons them.  Ren befriends Willard and eventually wins Ariel’s, (the preacher’s daughter’s) affections.  In the meantime, Ren also matures to lead a protest against the dancing bylaw.Footloose 2015

What makes the stage production of Footloose popular is the great music that goes with it.  There are hits of the eighties along with heart-warming ballads.  And, of course, plenty of great choreography, as the young people of Bomont learn to cut loose.

Nick Settimi as Willard and Jade Repeta as Rusty are the highlights of this production, taking full charge of the stage.  The audience starts to laugh as soon as Settimi enters and he absolutely charms them as the shy Willard.  When he learns to dance, as Repeta sings “Let’s Hear It for the Boy”, he has everyone in the house rooting for him.  Repeta is also spell binding with her powerful voice and excellent comedic timing.   Later the audience is thrilled when Settimi returns to sing the hilarious “Mama Says”.

Victor Young, a favourite at Drayton Entertainment, gives a moving performance as Rev. Shaw Moore.  You feel his bottled up anger, yet his love for his wife and ultimately his daughter shows through.  Susan Gilmour as Vi Moore gives an emotional rendition of “Can You Find it in Your Heart”.

Colin Sheen as Ren and Danielle Wade as Ariel are starring opposite each other again, as they did earlier this season in Anne of Green Gables. Sheen is a true triple threat, acting, singing and dancing with ease, reminding us of Kevin Bacon’s movie role.  (Unlike Bacon, Sheen himself dances – Bacon had a dance double for the big numbers.)  Wade is more at home as the good girl: it is hard to believe she could be a rebellious preacher’s kid.  Together they sing “Almost Paradise” beautifully.

A special nod should go to Kaleigh Gorka and Anna Hurshman as Urleen and Wendy Jo.  They are excellent as Rusty’s sidekicks, and the three sing very well together in “Somebody’s Eyes”.  David Cotton, usually in the leading man role, plays bad boy Chuck Cranston with just the right amount of swagger and arrogance.  Rebecca Poff is excellent as the long-suffering single mom and Daphne Moens is hilarious as the roller-skating, burger joint manager.

Footloose is filled with songs you love, and this cast can both belt the big numbers and serenely sing the beautiful ballads.  Enjoy a visit with them at Huron Country Playhouse to cool off.

Footloose continues with eight shows a week until August 8 at Huron Country Playhouse, Grand Bend. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office: 519-238-6000 or Toll Free 1-855-372-9866, or check

Photo:  Colin Sheen and company in Footloose.  Photo by Darlene O’Rourke.

Footloose – Huron Country Playhouse 2015
Stage Adaptation by Dean Pitchford & Walter Bobbie
Based on the Original Screenplay by Dean Pitchford
Music by Tom Snow
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Directed and Choreographed by Timothy French
Musical Direction by Craig Fair
Performed by Colin Sheen, Danielle Wade, Nick Settimi, Jade Repeta, Victor Young, Susan Gilmour, Rebecca Poff et al
Produced by Drayton Entertainment
Huron Country Playhouse, Grand Bend
July 23 to August 8, 2015
Reviewed by Mary Alderson


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