Footloose the musical (sometimes just Footloose) is based on the 1984 film of the same name. It debuted on Broadway, at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, on Oct. 22, 1998. The production was nominated for four Tony Awards and ran for more than 700 performances. It starred Jeremy Kushnier (Kevin Bacon in the movie) and Jennifer Laura Thompson (Lori Singer from the movie). By the way, Thompson replaced Kristin Chenoweth as “Glinda” in Wicked and then she was replaced by Megan Hilty. Footloose tickets were also collected in London at various times between 2006 and 2008. Footloose touring productions were launched in 2000 and 2003. On the other side of the Atlantic, U.K. national tours were launched in 2004, 2006, and 2007.
Footloose contains several songs from the movie including the title track, “Somebody’s Eyes,” “Holding Out for a Hero,” “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” and “Almost Paradise.” Additional music was composed by Tom Snow with new lyrics by Dean Pitchford. Pitchford, who worked on the film, co-wrote the book with Walter Bobbie. The classic Kenny Loggins song “Footloose” opens and closes the musical. Initial reviews of the Broadway production found its score to be its strongest point.
The story in Footloose the musical generally follows the plot of movie. Obviously, changes had to be made to accommodate the stage. For example, in the musical Ren and Chuck Cranston don’t play chicken with tractors. Other than a few new scenes and some expanded scenes, the musical and the movie follow the same story arch. In 2005, producers decided that their musical needed some revisions. The modifications involved the removal of “I Confess” as well as the rap from “Dancing is not a Crime.” The song “Still Rockin’” was added to open the second act.
Footloose the musical is a bona fide classic. It was a “MTV musical” meaning instead of the actors singing their feelings they starred in little music videos within the movie. Also, Footloose the movie created a new pop culture reference. “The city council from Footloose” is used to described any person or group who unfairly oppresses the arts especially music and dancing.