4

Footloose at Peoria's Arizona Broadway Theatre -- A Good Thing to Cut, but Not from Your Schedule

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

I guess Footloose definitely merits inclusion in this summer's Festival of Uncomfortable Truths -- for example, if you work too hard as a religious leader, you risk neglecting and alienating your family to the extent that your daughter takes up with someone who'll beat her for trying to break up with him. Yikes! I did not remember all that tsuris from the movie (and there's going to be a new one!).

Nevertheless, Arizona Broadway Theatre's current production of the stage musical version of Footloose is mostly just perky, polished, and fun, and the leads, played by David Errigo, Jr. and Jessica Kaufman, are adorable, fiery kids with great chemistry -- something I love to see and don't see enough.

Their voices are also terrific, both separately and together, and you can say the same about the entire cast, especially Jacqueline Rez as Rusty (you know, the girlfriend of Willard, the guy who can't dance until the "Let's Hear It for the Boy" montage). Rez is fierce, cute, smart, and unafraid to own the stage when it's her time.

Director Joseph Martinez, who's proved a reliable hitmaker for ABT, has everybody completely committed to what they're doing every minute. I get the feeling the cast is on the verge of dropping from exhaustion every time the lights go out, because they're giving us everything when they're on.

Kurtis W. Overby's choreography is smoothly executed and meets the challenge of a show about a place where dancing is forbidden, which comes up as a setting for musicals more often than one might think. And the songs that were newly written for the show by Tom Snow and Dean Pitchford mesh nicely with their memorable film soundtrack, with its contributions from Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins, Jim Steinman, and Eric Carmen still intact.

ABT's meal servers have the '80s spirit, sporting cute show shirts and even, on some of the waitstaff, red hightop sneakers, in a salute to Ren McCormack, that suspender-wearing weirdo from Chi-town to whom Kevin Bacon introduced us all those years ago, when My Pal the Drama Teacher and I were actual young single women. Sitting beside me at Footloose, she wished for bigger hair and more embarrassing outfits on the stage -- why should these performers escape what we endured? -- but we still had a great time, and I think you will, too.

Footloose continues through Sunday, July 25, at Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 West Paradise Lane in Peoria. Tickets are $66.50 to $79.50 and include a two-course dinner and drinking water (gratuity not included). Appetizers, other beverages, and cocktails and desserts crafted especially for the show (uh, yes, I really liked my ginger-honey-lemon-flavored Hero and the remainder of my pal's) are available at additional cost.

A portion of proceeds from tonight's performance, Friday, July 16, will go to Arizona Assistance in Health Care, Inc. and Hospice of the Valley as part of ABT's campaign to "Close the Curtain on Cancer." Order tickets here or call 623-776-8400.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.