Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review: Meredith Little, Christian Dantes pump up the Academy of Childrens Theater production of Footloose @ MLP; shows continue Fri, Sat, June 18, 19, 7 pm

ACT: Footloose @ MLP
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Meredith Little, a teen possessed of a large smile, big eyes and head full of energy, has trouble not stealing the scene anytime she's on stage, I'm guessing. Her timing, tunefulness and kineticism is one of many reasons to give the Academy of Childrens Theater a big recommendation in their production of Footloose.

The show continues Fri and Sat, June 18, 19, at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse.

Cues were tight, singing voices were excellent and the dancing was infectious in the production that we saw on Thurs, June 17.

Cynthia Whitaker, director, and Lauren Ross, choreographer, managed to make the show look effortless - but with a cast of some 30 teens and adults, the inescapable conclusion is that their secret is in the rehearsals.

Meredith Little, Bridget Winder and Emma Foreman sang tight three-part harmony in their prominent roles. Also demonstrating harmonic convergence were Jan Reedy and Debbie Dupuy. Not to say anything less about the duet work by the lead players, Maddison Pennington and Christian Dantes.

Pennington was a very capable match to the convincing Dantes, a 15 year-old with star quality, between his dancing, mugging and excellent diction.

Rocky Maddox was a standout among the many competent adults in the cast.

Music, essential to the dancers in Footloose, was provided by a small but dynamic rock orchestra under the direction and keyboard of Daniel Ley. Justin Ansley and Mike Krusleski, guitar, Kirk Reedstrom, bass, JC Bryant, percussion, and Robyn Sharp, woodwinds, were modulated - but they rocked.

Nate Wasson, a centenary drama and dance grad, worked hard to add extra steps to the show. His role of Travis was eye-catching; his role of Mama was over the top.

Such a large cast of well-trained male dancers! I'd say that recruitment must be part of the successful Whitaker-Ross strategies.

The production ran a bit over 2 hours but we weren't counting. The appealing players and consistency of the production amounted to a lovely night of entertainment.

$25 / 20 / 15
all ages

See a slideshow of the Thurs night production.

No comments: