Preview-Footloose-Face Productions


By: Meaghan McGurgan

Hot off of last year’s smash hit, Hairspray, Face Productions is back with another high-octane, fun filled musical that’s out to please the whole family. Footloose, the musical, is a stage adaptation of the 80’s classic film starring Kevin Bacon. The story follows a teenage boy called Ren from Chicago who moves to Bomont, Georgia, with his mother, only to find the religious town prohibits dancing. The boy finds romance with the town pastor’s daughter Ariel and together the couple challenge the town’s small-mindedness in the hope of a rock’n’roll themed prom night. Ren comes swinging into town to prove that if you “Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes” and “Cut Loose” everything will be a-ok.

UK native David Allen is taking on the classic role of Ren. When asked about how he’s avoiding playing Kevin Bacon-isms we were shocked to find out he’s one of the 7 people in the entire world to have never seen the movie. Kathy Mak is playing Ariel and Boaz Chan is playing Willard; both actors are seasoned musical theatre performers who are very excited about the project and taking on the challenge of a Southern accent.

“The show has been so much fun to work on. I look forward to rehearsals every Sunday. We’ve become a family.” says Kathy. Iconic songs from the Footloose soundtrack like Holding Out For a Hero, Let’s Hear It For the Boy and Almost Paradise are featured in the musical. Kathy Mak has a lot of fun taking on the song Holding Out For a Hero, “All the girls are in it and we get to have our dream moment thinking about our hero. It’s so much fun to sing.”

Artistic Director of Footloose, Claire Johnson is also the choreographer of the show. We got to see a sneak peak of two musical numbers in the show: Mama Says and the opening sequence to Footloose. We were super impressed with the difficulty of the choreography and the serious hard work the cast must have put into the show. You have to love a show with a cartwheels and flips in the opening number! And Mama Says, sung by Boaz Chan, was a very cute, all male, country inspired number.

 “We’ve been working on the project since January… I’ve been very impressed with the work the cast has put in so far… We have a few weeks left and we’re down to the polishing parts. It’s very exciting,” says Claire.

For director, Conor O'Grady, this has been a very interesting and challenging project for him. This is his first musical and the first time he’s worked with a cast so large. (30 people!) As a self proclaimed, “drama person”, Conor learned the differences between hardcore “drama” actors and “musical” actors. “They work in very different ways… I learned a lot on this project… and I’ve had a very good time working with the cast… They’re very energetic.” He’s also really loved the productions' guerrilla marketing campaign of flash mobs all over town to promote the show, “They’ve been an absolute blast to do.”

Audiences who worry about the show just being a repeat of the DVD should have their fears set aside, the musical contains many songs that aren’t in the original movie and the story has been updated to be set in 2014. A lot of local talent that you might have seen in other shows such as: You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Hairspray, A Chorus Line, The Tragedy of Miss Julius Caesar, and the yearly Hong Kong Players' Panto are taking the stage along with some new faces. It's always nice to see a mixture of new and familiar talent on the Hong Kong stage.

Footloose, the musical is playing at the Studio Theatre at the Grand Cutural Center in TST from May 29th to June 1st. Evening performances are at 8pm and there’s a 3pm matinee on June 1st. Tickets are 395HKD with 295HKD tickets for full time students, seniors and persons with disabilities. There’s a junior performance by the students of Face Academy on May 31st at 3pm and June 1st at 11am. This performance is a little less pricey at 275HKD for adults and 175HKD for concessions. There are additional discounts for group bookings.

For more information about Footloose, click here.


Editor's Note, May 15th, 5:52pm:
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