Let’s Dance! Farmingdale Playcrafters recently brought down the house with their electrifying take on Footloose! This musical extravaganza, based on the 80s blockbuster, tells the story of Ren McCormack, a city slicker who moves to a small town where dancing is prohibited. The production's melting pot of heartwarming messages, catchy tunes, and high-energy dancing hooked the audience from the first beat.
Director Jessica Mischke, in search of a performance brimming with energy, purpose, and a meaningful message, found her answer in Footloose. “The students have wanted to do Footloose for years, and I knew this was the right time. Little did I know just how meaningful this show would be for all of us.”
The talented cast, which featured several NYSSMA-honored musicians, dazzled the audience throughout the electrifying musical. William Herbert, playing the role of Ren McCormack, captivated the audience with his boundless energy and emotion. Opposing him was Bobby Silverstein, playing the stern and solemn Reverend Shaw Moore. Madelyn Jimenez, portraying the rebellious minister's daughter Ariel Moore, left audiences cheering for more. The supporting cast, led by senior Angelina Pascutto as Reverend Moore's supportive wife, Vi, and senior Alexa Nazario as the sweet and scatterbrained Rusty, brought forth a rich tapestry of characters. Senior Ryan Loughlin’s country bumpkin Willard was a crowd favorite.
Ethel, Ren’s mother who would do anything for her son, was played by sophomore Sofia Grago. Senior Ava Monteleone played Urleen, Ariel’s brilliant friend. Sophomore Nick Suwalski played local bad boy Chuck Cranston. Senior Ava Lanot rounds out Ariel's friend group by playing Wendy Jo. The ensemble of townspeople and students, played by a talented group of actors, added depth and vibrancy to the performance.
The show-stopping soundtrack of Footloose was Oscar and Tony-nominated, reached number one on the Billboard charts, and sold over 15 million copies. Bringing this score to our stage was our incredibly talented Pit Orchestra, led by Ms. Thérèse Mannino, accompanied by Mrs. Pat Facchiano. Ms. Jamie Capasso and Mr. Erik Chocianowski headed set design and construction. Lastly, Mr. Joseph Hasset, Mrs. Cherie Dreyfus, and Mr. Corey Sterler managed lighting and sound. Footloose is Mrs. Jessica Mischke’s tenth time directing a Playcrafter’s musical. Her brother and assistant director, Erik Mischke, are by her side throughout all her productions. They’ve dedicated this performance to Gina Pellettiere and Bea Ferrari.
In today's world, where young people face numerous challenges and obstacles, it is more important than ever to listen to their voices and provide them with guidance and support. By doing so, we can create a better future for all. Footloose serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of listening to and guiding young people with a warm heart and an open mind.