‘Footloose’ shows off students’ talent

| 12 Mar 2024 | 06:02

    Spring arrived early at West Milford High School as student Highlanders’ talents burst into blossom onstage in the musical “Footloose.”

    A company of 36 actors, supported by a pit band and a legion of student and teacher volunteers, lifted sold-out audiences onto a wave of enthusiasm and youthful exuberance.

    “Footloose” tells a perfect story for spring, one with themes of family values, rebirth and reconciliation.

    Directed by Heather Burns, West Milford Theater Arts teacher, and produced by Jessica Cohen, a WMHS alumna, this high-voltage show is propelled through two acts by non-stop, dazzling choreography by Randy Accardi. And these kids can dance!

    Special mention should be made of student Emilio McDonald, whose talent for stage movement and dance is outstanding.

    For four performances, audiences experienced on an open stage flexible mobile sets, a colorful palette and expert scene projection, which brought the play alive in constant motion scene to scene with repeated audience applause.

    This company, supported by a strong, school-wide enthusiasm for the theater arts, is well beyond what most high schools are willing or able to sustain.

    West Milford can be proud of its commitment to this program, this production of “Footloose” and its rich contribution to the cultural life of the wider community.

    Jim O’Rourke