“Footloose” and fancy free on stage

Photo by Alison Dhont
Photo by Alison Dhont
Any Castro Valley resident who has ever been asked “Where the heck is Castro Valley?” will be able to relate to Ren in the upcoming production of Footloose.

Main character Ren, played by senior Chris Baker, has moved away from Chicago to an obscure small town called Bomont. There he meets a rebellious girl Ariel, played by Sarah Choi, who is the daughter of the town’s influential and well-respected reverend.

“Ren doesn’t fit in. He’s very different from everyone in the town,” said Michael French, who will play Willard Hewitt, Ren’s goofy and dim-witted friend.

When Ren learns that dancing has been legally banned in Bomont, he is surprised and confused. He makes a plan to convince the town of the value and importance of dance, challenging the reverend’s statements about dance being heretical and therefore unacceptable.

The musical is based off the popular film released in 1984. The show features lots of upbeat, rock tempo songs played by CVHS musicians, and conducted by Steven Hendee.

“It’s been really fun,” said sophomore Grace Hancock, who will play Ariel’s sassy friend Rusty. “I have met new people, learned new skills from the director, and just grown overall from this experience.”

Audience members will enjoy seeing the variety of CVHS talents that this musical showcases. Hancock stands out as a very talented singer, and French as a very hilarious and convincingly dumb Willard.

The entire cast is strong throughout the show, with elaborate dance numbers and funny yet sensitive acting.

“I think this show is special because the theme of it is very important. It makes you realize that arts have the power to bring people together,” said French.

The performances of Footloose will be in the Center for the Arts on March 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7:00 p.m. and March 15 and 22 at 2:00 p.m.

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