It’s that time of year at Milton High School. Students are settled into their routines, the weather is cooling dramatically and music is blaring from the Charles C. Winchester Auditorium. It must be time for the Milton High School musical.
This weekend, Friday November 4 and Saturday, November 5, the students will perform a live version of Footloose, the classic 1984 film, which was recently was recently remade in theaters.
In the cast of about 40 students, there is a wide range of experience. Seniors Talia Nutting (Vi Moore) and Adam Hanna (Chuck Cranston) have been involved in school productions going back to sixth grade.
Junior Andrew Flynn will make his second appearance in a Milton High School musical as Rev. Shaw Moore. Coincidentally, this is the second time he’s played a reverend. Flynn portrayed Bishop Henry T. Dobson in last year’s staging of Anything Goes.
Andrew Mowe, also a junior, will take a more prominent role in Footloose, as he takes on the character of Ren McCormack.
Milton High senior Rebecca Liberman will play the love interest of Chuck and Ren, Ariel Moore. The role is her first in a high school musical.
The cast on the stage is certainly not the only students involved in the production. Other students are involved in the pit band, sound and backstage crew, even set building.
Rebecca Damiani is the director of Milton High’s Footloose. Dr. Noreen Diamond Burdett is the musical director and Gary Good will lead the pit band.
Last spring, Damiani selected the show and distributed the music.
During the first week of school this year, the students auditioned for specific parts. After showing their singing and dancing skills, some students were called back for a second audition.
Then, to make the most believable relationships, Damiani and Burdett, assigned roles and rehearsals began.
The students and teachers have been hard at work preparing the show. Every school day from 3:30 to 6 p.m. the Footloose soundtrack or script could be heard in the halls of MHS.
Though the new Footloose movie may appear to coincide with the high school musical, Damiani didn’t know the movie would be released this fall, according to her students.
The movie did, however, provide a good bonding experience for the cast.
Two weeks before opening night, cast members went to the movie. They took the closing scene, which featured the iconic “Footloose” song, as a chance to practice. The cast members went to the front of the theater and danced along as the song played and credits rolled.
In general, the new version of the movie may help drum up a hankering for the music and story.
“I think it will be good for us,” said Nutting.
Whether it’s nostalgia for 80s-wear and Kevin Bacon, a fancy for a new flick or a desire to watch Milton High’s best singers, dancers and actors, Footloose offers the perfect theater experience. Some of the lead actors in the musical may sum it up best.
“It’s a really fun show,” Hanna said.
“It has something for everyone,” added Flynn.
And not to mention: “It’s always fun to look at 80s gear,” Liberman said.
Mowe, the modern day Kevin Bacon put it most simply: “Come to the show.”
Opening night for Milton High School’s Footloose is this Friday at 7 p.m. The Saturday performances are at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at Milton High and Pierce Middle School.