It seems only appropriate that I mention “Sunday shoes” in a blog post I’m actually writing on a Sunday afternoon. It hails from the theme song of “Footloose,” the 1984 film featuring a baby-faced Kevin Bacon with music, fashion, and dialogue from that time and place in rural America.
The recognizable song by Kenny Loggins also welcomes audiences as the curtain rises on “Footloose, The Musical,” on stage now through Sunday, October 17 at the Omaha Community Playhouse. My toes tapped while watching the production Thursday night, and the songs remained in my head long after the final round of applause echoed through the midtown Omaha theatre at 69th and Cass Streets.
I will be the first to admit that most musicals are lost on me. I find great connection and even greater entertainment in more “real life” stories and scenarios, where the only music plays lightly in the background. However, the opening minutes of “Footloose, The Musical” changed my mind completely. The passion and talent by this year’s cast was breathtaking and energetic. The dance moves and songs put forth on stage were engrossing and highly entertaining.
The actors – young and old alike – were unquestionably dedicated to their craft, and paid an homage to the original film that audiences will most certainly recognize and enjoy. Some scenes from the film were eliminated or slightly edited, but the core theme remains and is presented in a way that audiences can’t help but fall in love with those on stage.
That “breathless” feeling culminates at the end of the night, as the actors greeted attendees just minutes after performing the night’s final number. They were still in costume, still all smiles, and completely out of breath. Their eyes and faces and smiles offer sublime appreciation for those who watched their two-hour journey, and offer even further evidence of the beauty and importance of community theatre.