Friday, January 30, 2015

review FOOTLOOSE Actor's Youth Theatre

Kale Burr as Ren and Jessie Jo Pauley as Ariel
Photo: Chris Bowler
For more information on this production, that runs through Saturday, January 31st, click here.

"Full of toe-tapping tunes and nuanced roles, almost all of which are high school aged, it's easy to see why the musical Footloose is so consistently performed by youth groups, even though it's been thirty years since the movie was a box office smash. With a cast of talented high school kids, the Actor's Youth Theatre production, which just ended its two week run, was an energetic blast...The production was well cast with a group of gifted young actors and singers, led by Kale Burr as Ren and Jessie Jo Pauley as Ariel. The energy that Burr brought to the part of Ren was refreshing and addicting. Pauley was appropriately wise, smart, and sassy as the girl who knows what she needs to do to get what she wants, yet she also brought an aching sweetness and desperation to the role of a girl who is simply trying to find her place in life. Burr and Pauley also made a completely realistic couple. As Reverend Moore, Jonah Carlson was the best of the group in both acting and singing capabilities. His sense of compassion and understanding was superb, bringing a keen sense of sympathy to the part. Director and choreographer Mackenzie Mitchell gave her hard working cast plenty to do throughout the production, achieving excellent portrayals from them, and her spirited, non-stop choreography was a lot of fun. Footloose, with its big message about the need to fit in and the desire to change people's lives for the better, is a perfect fit for a youth theatre group. With clear direction, spirited choreography, and some very talented leads and supporting actors, the AYT production was an energetic, fun filled joy. " - Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the full review)

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