by erin thursby

For those of you familiar with the movie starring Kevin Bacon, the plot of the Alhambra’s Footloose, is basically the same, except that people tend to sing the songs that were on the 80s soundtrack of the original play.
Tony Triano, always an Alhambra favorite, appears as the pedantic but well-meaning Reverend Moore, who has convinced the town to put a moratorium on dance because of a car accident that killed several of the town’s young people coming from a dance. Looking for something to blame, the town accepts the Reverend’s belief that dancing (along with rock ‘n roll) is the root of all evil.
Jeremy Dumont, and his fabulous hair, fills the role of Ren McCormick, a city boy transplant bent on changing the law and making Bomont the kind of town where you can dance. Sporting hot pink converse, a skinny tie and a turned up collar, Dumont loads the role with a smart-assed charm.
Ren’s love interest is none other than the Reverend’s daughter, bad girl Ariel Moore (played by Katherine Weatherford). Weatherford seems comfortable in the part and connects emotionally with others on stage.
The performances of Patti Eyler as Ethel McCormick (Ren’s mom) and Lisa Valdini as Vi Moore (wife to the Reverend and mother to Ariel) are the bones of the show. Don’t mistake them for background. Without their believability and strength, everything else would come off as hollow. These two ladies carry it off-and then some.
The rebellion in the musical Footloose seems less harmless than the rebellion in the film, but it’s more fun than the movie was. It’s difficult not to make the comparison between the two, but the musical just feels more wholesome, like family fare rather than dance revolution fodder. Things are fairly light-hearted in the first act, but after intermission, be prepared to reach for your tissues.
Footloose will be at the Alhambra Dinner Theater through May 31st. Call 641-1212 or 1-800-688-7469 for tickets. You can also check availability online or order tickets at