Footloose: Rebellion, Repression, and Rock & Roll


Who knew that Malvern kids could dance? The Malvern Theatre Society spring musical is underway with their production of Footloose. The musical was adapted from the 1984 film, and first performed on Broadway in 1988. Malvern could not have chosen a better show to send the MTS seniors out on a great note. Students from Notre Dame, Villa Maria, and Malvern worked tirelessly for months to put together the production, and all of their hard work paid off.

The story is one of classic teenage rebellion and repression. Ren McCormick, portrayed brilliantly by junior Joe Canuso, is a boy from Chicago who moves to a small Midwestern town. In Bomont, dancing and rock music – things that Ren lives for – are illegal. He falls for the young and troubled Ariel Moore, played by Villa’s Maddy Eissler – who is already with the jealous bad boy of the town, Chuck Cranston, played by junior Matt Magargee. Ren brings life to the small town, making many friends and some enemies along the way. Ariel struggles with her feelings for Ren, as well as with pressure from her minister father, played by junior Matt Anthony.  Anthony’s character, Reverend Moore, is responsible for the the banning of dancing and rock in the first place. In the end, Ren has the courage to step up against the minister and the town council and rejuvenate the spirit into the town, stealing Ariel’s heart along the way.

The musical is filled with catchy and upbeat music that keeps you tapping your foot throughout the show. The students were well rehearsed in their choreography and lines, without a single obvious miss in the two-and-a-half-hour show. Johnny Monday stole the show as Willard, the goofy and love-struck friend of Ren, with many memorable lines and songs. The lighting and sound were once again exemplary, led by senior Tom Verdi and junior Billy McCullough. It took months of preparations, but the show came together wonderfully and provided a night of enjoyment for parents, teachers, alumni, and students.

A special appreciation is in order for Ms. White, the producer, Dr. Fry, the director, and  all of the MTS seniors who are in their final production. So, “cut Loose,” Malvern, and go see Footloose this weekend, March 8th and 9th at 8:00 pm in the Duffy Center!  Tickets are available online at