Footloose’ shines while ensemble of ladies impresses at MLT

A couple of good theater runs gave me the time to see three very good shows, two of which are still playing.

With Tucker, Patterson and Lamplighter’s theaters between seasons, I traveled to Cannon County Center for the Arts in Woodbury on July 11 to see “Footloose,” the play about an eccentric preacher and a small town that not only opposes dancing, but has a law that no dancing be done in city limits. Ren (Drew Lewis) is the new kid in town with rhythm in his feet, and as it turns out, Ariel (Katye Brock), the preacher’s daughter, has some rhythm for Ren. So a blend of teen hormones and dancing shoes makes this production wild and fun.

A very large cast, directed by Lana Spry and choreographed by Kaleena DeVar, does the show justice, and on opening night even a power surge, which did a small number on the lights and sound, could not stop the actors from missing a beat. Mr. Lewis was at his best, Ms. Brock very impressive, and their duet 30 feet in the air was superb!

Spry could have done the show with half the cast and it still would have been great, and the stage would not have seemed quite as crowded. But still, it worked. The crusty old preacher, Rev. Shaw Moore (Robert Hiers) was pompous and self-righteous. You must have been watching a lot television evangelists to do the great job you did, Mr. Hiers!

As I figured he would, Garrett Troutt (Willard) stole the scene every time he hit the stage. This young man has a special gift that continues to grow with each production he is in. His “initial attempt” at dancing was a hoot, but his talents will take him far.

This show concludes July 27. If you have not seen it, you should.

Friendly Seniors at MLT

The “Widow’s Best Friend” played to sold out audiences at Murfreesboro Little Theatre, as it should have. The show reminded me of my grandfather’s passing, when every blue hair within shouting distance became my grandmother’s best friend. Opening night was like a senior citizen’s home at MLT however, and smelled of lilacs and rubbing alcohol. The heat in the theatre was almost unbearable, so most everyone there was probably comfortable. Nelda Pope, Nancy Clymer, Susanne Tenpenny, Lisa Davis, Kelly Hayes and Evan Scott were all wonderful, I studied closely for a forgetting of lines, but these senior ladies were incredible.

The set was beautiful and exactly what you would expect from Shane Lowery and his crew. A standing ovation goes to each actor and directors Lowery and Jamie Storvik.

The scene stealer however, was the darling Pippin Lee, as Snowball. His two entrances and exits will be remembered at MLT years from now. and I predict he will go “fur” in future productions.

This show, too, continues through July 27, and is one I hope you do not miss.

“I Do, I Do” Closes

I did, I did go see “I Do, I Do” at the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts, and though opening night was close to a sellout, the second night had to fight with Uncle Dave Macon Days.

Francine Berk and Andrew Ford were a great team, singing, fighting and loving together, as only two people married 50 years could do. They both aged well onstage, and they reacted/played to the audience, which I enjoy. Having played only two weekends, this “filler” was worth the time, effort and hard work put in by Berk and Ford.

The summer continues with MLT’s “The Laramie Project,” Murfreesboro Center for the Arts’ “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” and Cannon County Center for the Arts’ “The Buddy Holly Story.”


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