‘Footloose’ opens Thursday in Lake Benton


LAKE BENTON, Minn. – The Lake Benton Opera House will present its 2018 summer musical, “Footloose: The Musical,” beginning Thursday, July 26.

The show is an adaptation of the hit 1984 movie starring Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow and Lori Singer. The film was loosely based on events that took place in the rural town of Elmore City, Oklahoma.

When Ren (played by Luke Bielfeldt of Brookings) and his mother, Ethel (Aubree Cheadle of Ivanhoe, Minnesota), move from Chicago to a small farming town, Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn’t prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher (Tom Schmidt of Porter, Minnesota), determined to exercise the control over the town’s youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter, Ariel (Jocelyn Klein of Tyler, Minnesota), sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend, Chuck (Ian Lundgren of Brookings), tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. 

The story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him. The stage play features hit songs from the movie as well as new songs written especially for the play, and celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people and guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind. 

The show also stars Katie Roberts of Tyler, Minnesota, as the reverend’s wife, Vi; Graham Petersen of Tyler as Ren’s new friend, Willard; Aubree Cheadle of Ivanhoe as Ren’s mother, Ethel; and Crystal Enga of Marshall, Minnesota, as Rusty, included in a cast of 40 from Lake Benton, Tyler, Brookings, Elkton, Marshall, Porter, Minneota, Ivanhoe, Verdi, Pipestone and Hendricks, Minnesota. The music will be performed by a six-piece orchestra led by piano accompanist Lauren Johnson of Florence and director/percussionist Justin Condelli of Marshall.

The show is under the stage direction of Mark Wilmes of Tyler.

Show dates are July 26-28 and August 2-4 at 7:30 and July 28-29 and August 4-5 at 2 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased at www.lakebentonoperahouse.com, or call 507-368-4620.

Courtesy photo: Rehearsing for “Footloose: The Musical,” opening July 26 at the Lake Benton Opera House, from left: Jackson Jeremiason of Minneota, Emma Lipinski of Ivanhoe, Graham Petersen of Tyler, Noah Greer of Lake Benton and Jacob Haen of Minneota.

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