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‘Footloose’ to wrap Summer Arts Fest

The Summer Arts Festival wraps its 47th season by cutting loose with the original production of the musical “Footloose.”

“Footloose” will be presented at 8 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday at Turner Pavilion in Veterans’ Park by the Springfield Arts Council.

The production is based on the 1984 film that made Kevin Bacon a star, about a teen with slick dance moves who moves to a town where dancing has been outlawed.

The soundtrack had numerous hits like the title track and Let’s Hear It for the Boy (both of which went to No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart), Holding Out For a Hero and Almost Paradise. The cast sings these along with several original songs created for the show.

Footloose follows a pattern set in previous Summer Arts Festival seasons by presenting both a classic production, such as The Wizard of Oz earlier this season, then a newer hit like Hairspray last year and now Footloose.

Director Tim Rowe said Footloose was a good choice for several reasons.

“We had an exceptionally large turnout for auditions for Hairspray last year, a lot of high school and college age people. We were looking for properties aware of what interests that age group had so that project becomes theirs.”

Rowe, who also directed Hairspray and about a dozen Summer Arts shows overall, said about 50 locals are part of the Footloose cast and crew, including several returnees and about a dozen newcomers.

Eric Moore will play Ren, the lead character. The son of Springfield Arts Council Director Emeritus Chris Moore, Eric graduated from Wright State earlier this year and designed the sets in addition to starring in the lead role.

“He’s grown up on this stage, doing everything from grounds crew to production crew,” said Rowe.

Rowe said the combination of familiar ’80s pop classics and appeal to a broad age group should make Footloose memorable.

“It’s going to be a real high energy way to close out the festival,” said Rowe.

Sunday also marks the final Summer Sundaes series event with the Black Box Comedy Improv Theater at 2 p.m. Sunday. There is no cost for this event, which will be indoors at the Springfield Center for the Arts at Wittenberg. Ice cream treats are available for purchase.

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