By: Christopher Otto, Delsea Regional High School
PINE HILL, N.J. — Bomont?! Where the hell is Bomont?! Well, this past weekend, Bomont was in the auditorium of Overbrook High School, as they put on a terrific showing of “Footloose.”
Based on the 1984 movie, “Footloose” follows the brash and charismatic Ren McCormack as he struggles with adapting to the strict small town of Bomont, administered by the conservative Reverend Shaw Moore. When Ren discovers that dancing has been banned in Bomont, Ren makes it his mission to prove that “Dancing is Not a Crime.” Along the way, Ren falls head over heels for Reverend Shaw’s rebellious daughter, Ariel, who can’t wait to get out of Bomont.
“Footloose” is a very energetic and fun show, and it’s safe to say that the talented cast of Overbrook not only matched the energy level needed, they exceeded it. Their choreography was captivating; their energy was infectious; and their harmonies were very pleasing to the ear. Musical numbers such as “Holdin’ Out for a Hero,” “Let’s Hear it for the Boy,” and “Footloose (finale)” especially stood out for the incredible vocals and dancing within them.
The lead actors of this production were absolutely brilliant, to say the least. Santino Magazzu’s Ren was incredibly charming, with vocals and dance moves as smooth as butter. Lyanie Pagan’s Ariel was loud, sassy, and lively like any bright-eyed teenage girl, but also made the audience feel sympathetic for the character when it really counted. The chemistry the two performers shared was magical, not to mention their mesmerizing duet in “Almost Paradise.”
The amusing supporting cast of “Footloose” was arguably driven by Jeremy Davis’ extremely entertaining performance as Willard Hewitt, Ren’s closest friend in Bomont as well as Rusty’s love interest. With plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and perfect comedic timing throughout the show, it was hard not to love Davis’ execution of the role that would have made any mama proud, especially Willard Hewitt’s. The trio of Rusty, Wendy Jo, and Urleen also impressed together in “Somebody’s Eyes” as well as in other comedic moments such as the Burger Blast scene, though Marley Smith’s Rusty specifically shined with her stunning vocal presence, especially in “Let’s Hear it for the Boy.”
When talking about the technical aspects of the show, it’s hard not to talk about the proficient lighting of the show, specifically in “Holdin’ Out for a Hero.” The stage crew also did phenomenal jobs in moving quickly and efficiently in set changes, although at times they may have rushed themselves a little too quickly to the point where it was slightly distracting for the audience.
Let’s hear it for the boys and girls in the cast and crew of Overbrook for putting on a spectacular show this past weekend. After living through a pandemic these past few years, Overbrook showed that high school theatre is still rockin’ and will continue to keep rockin’, all you gotta do is cut loose. Footloose, that is.
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