St. Catherine’s Players production of Footloose opens this weekend with shows on Friday, March 1 at 8:00pm, Saturday March 2 at 7:00pm and a Sunday March 3 matinee at 2:00pm at St Catherine of Siena Church in Riverside.
Set in Bomont, Tennessee, the musical is set in a small, rural, and religious community where loud music and dancing were banned as a way to control local teens.
The story features Ren McCormack, (Fritz Chery) a teenager from Chicago who moves to Bomont and becomes friends with Willard Hewitt (Charlie Adorney). Ren is surprised to learn of the ban, which was the town’s response to an accident in which teenagers were killed driving home after a night out. The law was passed by the local council with the support of the minister Shaw Moore (Michael Kraus).
Ren, who struggles to fit in while trying to convince his new friends that they need to stand up to the adults and get the ban overturned. He quotes the Bible in a speech to the Town Council, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven – a time to laugh and a time to weep, and a time to mourn an a time to dance.”
Along the way, Ren falls in love with Ariel Moore (Nancy Leville), who happens to be the daughter of the very strict minister. Unfortunately for Ren, Ariel is dating the not-so-nice Chuck Cranston.
The selection of Footloose marks a departure from St Catherine’s Players recent kid-centric musicals, and the cast features a good number of adults. Among the cast are teens including GHS 9th graders Alexis Killeen, Charlie Adai and Stephanie Busani, and Spencer Spellane, a GHS sophomore.
The producers are the very committed duo of Jody Breakell and Wendy Blumenthal.
“I started with my kids when they were 7 and 9. They’re grown and married and I have grand babies now,” said Breakell whose involvement with Footloose marks her 28th year. “The annual play is a ministry of St. Catherine’s Church and we strive to involve as many of the Parish kids as we can.”
“The challenge with community theater is you get five girls for every part,so we cast several girls in boy parts,” Breakell explained, adding that there are also family members who participate in the musical together.
“This is a family enterprise,” Wendy Blumenthal. Charlie Adorney plays Willard Hewitt. his sister Kate has a part and their mother is a team lead for costumes.
The Zola family, daughter Libby, and 8th grader, is in the youth ensemble. Her mother Molly is costume coordinator. Another family participating together are Willow and Griffin Handley – a father and daughter.
Cristina Carr who grew up in Riverside and came to see the production every year said she feels at home at St Catherine’s. Carr, who graduated GHS in 2009, said, “I have memories of fellow GHS kids coming to be in the show and juggling both.” Carr said she was part of The Sound of Music in 2013, Barnum in 2014 and Little Mermaid in 2017.
Footloose marks CMS 6th grader Ella Piu’s fourth St Catherine’s production. “I love St Catherine’s. I got baptized here when I turned 8,” she said.
“It’s like a family. I love theater so much,” Ella added. “I’ve been in Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, Shreck and now Footloose.”
Cast of Characters:
Ren McCormack: Fritz Chery
Ethel McCormack: Lynn Carbino
Reverend Shaw Moore: Michael Kraus
Vi Moore: Tracy Martineau
Ariel Moore: Nancy Leville
Lulu Warnicker: Jana Mathes
Wes Warnicker: Steve Thompson
Coach Roger Dunbar: Griffin Handley
Eleanor Dunbar: Cindy Busani
Rusty: Jennifer Faccenda, Samantha Holomakoff
Urleen: Christina Kompar
Wendy Jo: Georgia Mann
Chuck Cranston: Spencer Spellane
Lyle: Erick Sanchez
Travis: Phil Pineau
Police Officer: Regina Perry
Betty Blast: Denise Casazzone
Willard Hewitt: Charlie Adorney
Principal Harriet Clark: Tiffany Smario
Jeter: Alexis Killeen
Bickle: Molly Kriskey
Garvin: Stephanie Busani
Cowboy Bob: Phil Pineau
High School students: Cate Adorney, Grace Huber, Natalie Kraninger, Maddie Kruper, Luke Merrill, Catherine O’Brien, Samantha Pascale, Tyler Pascarella
Townspeople: Maeve Carey, Cristina Carr, Elsa Fernandez, Mary Kate Frey, Willow Handley, Ella Piu, TJ Smith, Sophie Sterling, Kyler Woerz, and Libby Zola
Director: Lauren Nicole Sherwood
Choreographer: Matthew Blank
Stage manager: Melody Anderson
Technical director: Allen Jackson
Costumer: Pasquale Spezzano
Costume coordinators: Amy Adorney and Molly Zola
Makeup coordinator: Bill Wright
Lighting designer: Adam Shulman
Scenic artist: Lucie Anderes
Sound design: Joe Boerst
Photography/graphic design: Kathleen DiGiovanna
Set decoration: Jody Breakell and Wendy Blumenthal
Props: Janet Huley
Ticket managers: Cindy Busani and Karen O’Brien
Program: Wendy Blumenthal
Concession: Terry Azzara
Ushers and volunteers: Laura and Colm McDermott, Patricia Carey
Scenic painting crew: Pat Himmel, Madelaine Hoyt, Rosemary Nasr
Costume crew: Lisa Killeen, Sally Mann, Emily Piu, Cyndy Pulick, Sarah Trager
Hair and make up crew: Mary Coyen, Tina Grabowski, Christine Kraninger, Emily Piu, KimSpellane, Kay Sterling, Kelly Thompson, and Karen Traslavina
Lighting and logistics: Dave Adorney, Larry Bowman, Lynn and Crank Carbino, Joe Guttadauro, Zach Herz, Michael Killeen, Michael Karaus, Sally Mann, Colm, Emma, Daniel and Peter McDermott, Cyndy and Doug Pulick, Adam Shulman, Tim Smith, Kim Spellane, Greg Suss, Bill Wright
Set Construction/painting crew: Christina and Theresa Bartomioli, Aquinnah Geisler, Zack Herz, Peter Junius, Willow Kaufman, Doug Pulick, Mike Spezzano, Greg Suss, Crosby, Harrisona nd Kelly Thompson, Bill Wright, Stage crew Aquinnah Geisle, Zack Herz, Janet and Joe Huley, Austin Janssen, Lorelei McGowan, Femi Shabiolegbe, Bill Wright, parties and Receptions Lisa Killeen and Amy Adorney and Molly Zola, Sally Mann, John Pascale.
Conductor: Zachary Kampler
Reeds: Thomas Hassleberger
Clarinet: Ray Conetta
Piano: Rita Lapcevic
Bass: David Durrell and Nick Macri
Guitar: Michael Killeen
Drums: Frank Zanbaro and Les Jones
The St Catherine’s Players Board includes Amy Adorney, Wendy Blumenthal, Jody Breakell, Cindy Busani, Kathleen DiGiovanna, Rita Lapcevic, Colm McDermott Ptricia Moran, Karen O’Brien, Fr. William F Platt, Cyndy Pulick, Doug Pulick, Kelly Thompson and Molly Zola.
Tickets are $21 and may be purchased in advance at www.stcath.org or at St Catherine’s Parish Rectory at the same address. Tickets are $25 at the door.