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Theatrix cuts Footloose at ECC

You can excuse Nick Weber if he seems a bit hurried these days.

You can excuse Nick Weber if he seems a bit hurried these days.

Not only is the Heritage Woods secondary grad rehearsing five days a week, playing the lead role in Theatrix's upcoming production of Footloose: The Musical, he's also gearing up for a cross-country tour this summer with his band Pigeon Park, of which he's the lead singer.

In fact, the 22-year-old Coquitlam resident leaves for his 24-stop trip with his blues/rock band on closing night, next Saturday.

"He's got a lot on his plate," shrugged Nicole Roberge, Riverside secondary's drama coach and the choreographer for Footloose who brought Weber on after working with him on the same show at Pinetree secondary eight years ago.

Since July, the cast of 30 has ramped up its rehearsal schedule. Before school ended, they had been practicing three times a week for two months; now, it's every weekday to master the lines, songs and steps made famous in the 1984 movie that starred Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow and Lori Singer and featured the music of Kenny Loggins.

Sevan Kochkarian, 18, a Centennial graduate who portrays Singer's rebellious character of Ariel Moore, said she lobbied Theatrix director Deb Solberg to stage the show.

"The kids in my community wanted to do it because it's uplifting and it has lessons for both parents and teenagers," she said.

The story of Footloose focuses on Ren, a city kid who shakes up a small farm town called Bomont by dancing, a sin by the elders' standards and especially by Rev. Shaw Moore's, a conservative minister and the father of Ariel. Moore had banned dancing after four teens - including his son - were killed in a car accident while returning home from a dance.

Ren eventually pleads his case before the town council but without success. Later, the minister and Ren thrash out their differences until... well, the audience will have to wait for the finale.

Roberge said this Theatrix production will have a twist: for the first time in the 20-year-old company's history, it's including cast members' parents as extras; they will play the Bomont elders.

"Usually, the parents work behind the scenes but, this time, we're putting them on the stage, too," she said. "It's good for them to work with their teens and to be involved in their community. We consider it an intergenerational project."

Footloose: The Musical runs from July 21 to 23 at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam) and includes a 10-piece band under the musical direction of Elizabeth Cushnie. Showtimes are 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. For tickets at $20/$16, call ECC at 604-927-6555 or visit Tickets are $10 for the preview on July 20.

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