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Kick off Your Sunday Shoes

Footloose steps onto the Pablo Center stage

Amanda Luft, photos by Andrea Paulseth

What’s shakin’ (kevin) bacon? Cast members of the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild’s upcoming production of Footloose: The Musical! show the spring in their step.
What’s shakin’ (kevin) bacon? Cast members of the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild’s upcoming production of Footloose: The Musical! show the spring in their step.

Bust out your dancing shoes and hold onto your hats because you have the chance to experience a delightful extravaganza the likes of which have not been seen in this area since Paul Bunyan created Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.

What could be as exciting as mythic lumberjacks and a giant blue ox? The Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild’s presentation of Footloose: The Musical! The play is adapted from the 1984 movie of the same name, which is still referenced in popular culture 35 years later.

Footloose: The Musical is a story of teenage rebellion and repression. Ren (played by Kevin Bacon in the movie) and his mom move from Chicago to a little rural town. Once there, he’s shocked to discover that dancing and rock ’n’ roll music have been outlawed. Ren struggles to fit into his new community, while railing against the dancing ban at the same time. He’s just gotta dance! Along the way he makes friends (and a few enemies), falls in love, and helps this subdued community get its groove on.

You can expect tons of big, high-energy dance numbers, great tunes, and visually stunning scenery in the CVTG version of Footloose. The crew will transform the entire Jamf Theatre at the Pablo Center into the stage, so to speak. They plan to bridge the gap between the mezzanines and use all levels of the space, jumping from place to place to move the action from scene to scene.

You’ll also be treated to a full replica of the Phoenix Park bridge inside the theater, complete with the unique and colorful lighting. The idea is to make you feel like this story could happen anywhere, even in Eau Claire.

Footloose is a fun, dynamic, and entertaining spectacle for the whole family. You’ll hear familiar songs from the Tony-winning score, including “Let’s Hear It For the Boy,” “Footloose,” and “Somebody’s Eyes.” And at the root of it all is a classic story that never goes out of style.

Local theater veteran Frank Bartella is directing this production. He’s directed plays for the Heyde Center for the Arts and also did Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Escanaba in da Moonlight, and On Golden Pond for CVTG. In their respective seasons, Volume One readers voted all three of these plays among the Best Local Plays in the Chippewa Valley, so you can expect Footloose to be a crowd-pleaser as well!

Footloose: The Musical opens Thursday June 27 at 7:30pm and runs through Sunday June 30. Shows are in the Jamf Theatre at the Pablo Center at the Confluence. Tickets and information.