2017-04-19 / Front Page

Break Out Your Dancing Shoes, Footloose is coming to Colquitt

Footloose cast is ready to entertain you and make you want to dance. Footloose cast is ready to entertain you and make you want to dance. If you’ve driven by Cotton Hall Theater in the past two months, chances are you’ve heard echoes of the 80’s seeping through the walls. No, that’s not the ghost of big hair coming back to haunt you, it’s the fifty-person volunteer cast who is busy rehearsing for the Arts Council’s third annual spring musical Footloose.

Audiences familiar with the film version may think they know the story of the small town senior class who bands together to revoke an unfair law that prohibits dancing within the city limits, but actor Rawls Grimsley says audiences might be surprised. Grimsley will take on the role made famous in the 1984 film version by Kevin Bacon, but when asked if he was nervous to be taking on such an iconic role, he said, “It’s pretty nerve racking, because I feel like people are going to come into the show and expect to see the movie on stage, but it’s different on our stage. There’s so much more magic that goes into putting on a live performance every night. I’m really trying to take this role and make it my own, in my own style. Cotton Hall gives me the opportunity to do that.”

While the immersive experience may give the story a different feel, lovers of the original movie will be thrilled that the musical retains all of the movie’s iconic songs. “Let’s Hear It For the Boy,” “Somebody’s Eyes,” “Almost Paradise,” and of course, “Footloose” feature heavily throughout the play, and several new songs flesh out the score. Holly Thomas and Jennifer Roland, both teachers at Miller County, took on the musical direction of the production. While it was definitely a challenge to align all the singing parts, Thomas said, “It was an honor and privilege to work with such a talented and motivated group of people. I can’t wait to see the end result.”

This production benefits from an excitement that has been building since it was first announced at Cotton Hall’s production of A Merry May-Haw Christmas. To date, it boasts the highest ticket sales for any of the Arts Council’s spring musicals with several of the productions performances having been sold out for months.

Will Murdock, director of this production, attributes this to the depth of the storytelling, saying, “It’s not just a story about this young rebellious kid coming into a town and getting everyone to dance their butts off, right? It’s a story about people who don’t agree finding a way to listen to one another. It’s a story about community. It’s a love story. It’s a story about how we learn from one another, and about finding out who we are. And then on top of that—it’s just so much fun!”

A huge part of that fun is the dancing, which cast member Anna Reichard sums up in one sentence, “I’m ready to cut loose with the rest of the cast.”

Footloose: The Musical is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Footloose: The Musical runs at Cotton Hall April 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30, 2017 with performances on Fridays at 7:30, Saturdays at 2:00 and 5:30, and Sundays at 2:00. Tickets are available at www.swampgravy.com or by calling 1-229-758-5450.

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