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Modern Jazz I
Footloose, Directed by Walter Bobbie (Chicago) was a high energy musical based on the 80's teenybopper movie. I saw the New York production starring Tony Krushner as Ren.
I felt the overall production was bland and orchestrations were sparse. When the reverend comes center stage to sing his "powerful" song about being misunderstood I was bored. I found the song to be very anti-climatic.
All of these things aside said there were some things I did enjoy about the show. "Footloose" the opening number with its neon scenery and quick light changes gave the audience a high energy beginning to the musical.
The last scene of Act I took place in the gymnasium. The scenery and costumes were all red and white. The up-tempo music and the gymnastics gave the audience a very "up" feeling at the very end of a disappointing first act.
The most exciting point in the second act was when the kids snuck out to go dancing. "Let's Hear it for the Boy" was a popular tune in the 80's and a popular tune in the show. The stage became a western coral. The soloist sat on the fence while the chorus danced around her in western costumes, western style.
There were some elements that upheld the Dodger Endemol standard of production most notably the set. I found the set to be quite innovative, lockers that flew in for the school that opened and closed and turned around. The full-scale gym that appeared on stage at the end of Act I was quite remarkable. Also of note was the full-sized bridge where "Almost Paradise" was performed.
The show has a great appeal to the young audiences as well as to people who haven't seen a great deal of musical theater. I left Footloose thinking that maybe I'd seen too many musicals, "Orchestrations were sparse"? When asked what I thought of the production the only positive thing I could comment on was the energy. Maybe next time I should just go to the movies.
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Broadway musicals, Footloose, Theatrical scenery
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