This past weekend, Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria performed Footloose inside David H. Bowe’s auditorium. It was the largest cast ever assembled in the program’s history as 110 students from both campuses came together to showcase the tremendous talent and potential that each school has to offer on the stage. The show was nearly sold out each of the four days it was performed (Thursday-Sunday). Although the Prep-Villa productions have never drawn as much recognition as the Rambler football team or the VMA cross country girls, it definitely is on the uprise as the participation in recent shows has skyrocketed. The show quickly gained popularity as the newspaper ranked the performance as the number one thing to do in the city of Erie last weekend. It was a great experience for all involved and was one to remember.
The original movie debuted in 1984 with Kevin Bacon starring as Ren McCormack, the main character. Ren (James Jackson ’18) and his single mother, Ethel (Kristina Tishchenko ’17) , are financially forced to move from Chicago to a small country town later to be known as “Bomont.” Unknown to Ren, all forms of dancing and rock and roll music are banned within the town parameters by the religious zealots of the town council, led by the all-powerful Reverend Shaw Moore (Brian Buseck ’17). Shaw’s fanaticism was spurred by the sudden death of his son while partying with a group of teens when the car they were in drove off a bridge, killing everyone. The latter part of the film is dedicated to Ren trying to convince the town that their ways are too extreme, running into many obstacles along the way and is pushing to throw a dance for his high school. Slowly gaining support from his peers, Ren eventually stands up to the council and persuades the Reverend to allow the dance.
Many hits like “Holding Out For A Hero”, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy”, “Footloose” and “The Girl Gets Around” were all featured in the production. The play was also handled very professionally with a total of three different choreographers (Eden Mishler, Carolyn McIntyre and Sarah Purvis), a musical director (Trevor Murnock), technical director (Ronuel Vierra), costume designer (Amy Boxer), vocal director (Andrew Alesso), an orchestra and an entire stage crew. Although none of these people were able to take a bow at the end of the performance, the show would not have even been possible without them.
Brian Buseck spoke of his experience saying, “Footloose was a great show consisting of a very talented cast. It was particularly special to me because it was the biggest show of my senior year.”
Fellow senior Bridget Riley also added, “I love the fact that the M.V.P. program is welcoming to students of all skills and talents. I’ve made many friendships through doing shows and I can’t wait to see where the program will go!”
Director Father Mike DeMartinis spoke on the upcoming talent saying, “I’m very excited and can’t wait for the future of this program.”
The defining factor that makes Prep-Villa shows special is how the program embraces each individual and illuminates their talents. Everyone from the football players to the intellectuals make an insurmountable impact on the play and truly reveal the brother and sisterhoods that each school continues to exemplify. Relationships that have been formed through these productions will last a lifetime.
Despite all the runny noses, bad coughs and sore throats, the show was still a major success due to the unity and drive of the cast. It is an experience that rivals no other as every member of the cast is rooting for the person standing next to them and share the same goal. A heartfelt thank you to all the supportive cast members, families, production team and Father Mike for orchestrating such a successful event.