Way back in 1984, a relatively unknown actor named Kevin Bacon became a star thanks to his performance as a rebellious young man in a cheesy but immensely popular movie called “Footloose.”
Fourteen years later, “Footloose” made its inevitable transformation to the stage. The musical version of “Footloose” got a mixed reaction from Broadway critics, who loved the music and dancing but found the story trite. But it was a moderate hit, running for almost two years.
The Players Centre for Performing Arts is bringing “Footloose” to Sarasota in a new production that opened Wednesday for a three-week run.
The story, as most people know even if they’ve never seen the movie or the stage musical, concerns a big-city kid who loves to dance. He has to move to a small town with his mom, and once they get there they learn that dancing is illegal thanks to an oppressive minister. The young man ends up sticking it to the man with his righteous rock music.
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The movie included several hit songs, all of which are also part of the musical. There’s the title song, which was a hit for Kenny Loggins, who co-wrote it with Dean Pitchford. There’s “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” a hit for Deniece Williams, and “Almost Paradise,” by Pitchford and Eric Carmen, which Ann Wilson and Mike Reno made popular.
Details: March 22-April 9, The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday $25-$30; $12 students. 941-365-2494, theplayers.org.