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Fulton Theatre's FOOTLOOSE Opens Tonight

The nationally regarded Fulton Theatre presents the energetic Footloose: The Musical as its grand finale of the 2015/2016 season through July 17. The rousing and affecting production features a score that has transcended generations with Billboard-topping songs such as "Footloose," "Holding Out for a Hero," "Let's Hear It For The Boy," "Almost Paradise," and more!

When Ren and his mother 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, determined to exercise the control over the town's youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend's rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, many of the locals eagerly believe the worst about the new kid, overlooking the personal aching in both the youth and adults that fuels the need to "cut loose." The rockin' rhythm of its Oscar and Tony nominated top 40 score (the soundtrack album reached number one on the Billboard charts and has sold over 15 million copies!) and augmented with dynamic new songs for the stage musical, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people, guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind.

Considered one of the most popular dance films of all time, Footloose (1984) starred a young Kevin Bacon and Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as John Lithgow. The music from the film and musical are so infectious that six of the nine original songs reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including two number ones: "Let's Hear It For The Boy" and the Grammy Award-winning title song "Footloose." Both were in the top 10 for the year. The soundtrack for the film also reached number one, knocking Michael Jackson's classic Thriller album from the top spot. Footloose opened on Broadway October 22, 1998 after 18 preview performances and ran for a successful two years with 709 performances. The film was remade in 2011.

The Fulton Theatre production stars Neil Starkenberg as Ren McCormack and Liz Schmitz as Ariel Moore. Starkenberg makes his Fulton debut. His Broadway and National Tour credits include Pepper in Mamma Mia! Regionally he has appeared at Sacramento Music Circus in Showboat and Sugar and in the McCoy Rigby production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Rubicon in Hello! My Baby. He has also sung with bands such as Earth Wind and Fire and The Steve Miller Band. Schmitz returns to the Fulton where previous credits include Sister Act (Tina), Elf (Charlotte Dennon), and Joseph...Dreamcoat. Other regional credits include The Music Man (Zaneeta), and Young Frankenstein at Maine State Music Theatre and Cats and Monty Python's Spamalot at Pittsburg CLO.

Joining Starkenberg and Schmitz is Katie Bates as Rusty, David J. Wiens as Willard Hewitt, Shea Renne as Urleen, Michaela Bolt as Wendy Jo, Rita Harvey as Ethel McCormack, James Paterson as Rev. Shaw Moore, Melissa Dye as Vi Moore, and Cory Jeacoma as Chuck Cranston.

Bates returns to the Fulton after appearing in Sister Act and the Family Series production of Jack and the Beanstalk. Other credits include regional productions of Hairspray, Assassins and Oklahoma! Wiens also returns tothe Fulton having previously appeared in last season's Wizard of Oz and the Family Series production of Peter Pan. He has also appeared in the National Tour of Elf and New York Philharmonic's production of Sweeney Todd. Renne most recently appeared on Broadway in Allegiance. Her regional credits include Seussical: The Musical at The Muny and West Side Story at Music Theatre Wichita. Bolt's credits include Eva Peron in Evita at Texas State University along with several credits at Maine State Music Theatre. Harvey's Broadway credits include Fiddler on the Roof and Phantom of the Opera as Christine; she also appeared as Christine in the National Tour. Patterson returns to the Fulton where he was last seen as Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street. He has been in the Broadway and National Touring productions of Gigi, Mary Poppins, The Drowsy Chaperone, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, State Fair, and off-Broadway in Sail Away, Stairway to Paradise, and The Iron Curtain. Dye's Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning revival of Into the Woods (Rapunzel) starring Vanessa Williams; Grease! (Sandy) 1st revival, Phantom of the Opera (Mirror Bride, Christine u/s). She also appeared in the National Tour of Ragtime. Jeacoma returns to the Fulton after playing Warner in Legally Blonde. Other credits include The Pajama Game, We Foxes and The Visit.

Rounding out the cast in alphabetical order are; Courtney Arango (Eleanore Dubar), Joshua Bellamy (Ensemble), Tommy Betz (Garvin), Sarah Crane (Ensemble), Nolan Davidson (Ensemble), Asher Dubin (Jeter), Lauren Elledge (Ensemble), Mark Epperson (Coach Dunbar), Will Esposito (Ensemble), Clare Fitzgerald (Ensemble), Benjamin Hergenroeder (Ensemble), Donovan Hoffer (Lyel/Cop), Myles McHale (Wes Warnicker), Erin McNerney (Betty Blast), Austin Nedrow (Ensemble), Rachael Opdenaker (Ensemble), Zach Porter (Bickle), Buddy Reeder (Principle Clark), Teagan Smith (Ensemble), Chris Stevens (Travis/Cowboy Bob), Michael Styer (Ensemble), Victoria Tallarico (Ensemble), and Erin Wright (Lulu Warnicker).

The creative team for the production includes Marc Robin (Fulton Theatre's Artistic Director and Footloose Director), Samantha Hewes-Cramer (Choreographer), Aaron McAllister (Music Director), William Mohney (Scenic Designer), Anthony Lascoskie Jr. (Costume, Hair and Make-up Designer), Dan Efros (Lighting Designer), Jacob Mishler (Sound Designer), Matthew Moran (Associate Sound Designer), Katelin Walsko (Props Designer), Timothy Markus (Production Stage Manager), Douglas Lamb (Assistant Stage Manager), and Aaron Young (Fulton Theatre's Managing Director).

With special thanks to our Season Co-Sponsor, Fulton Bank, Production Co-Sponsors Capital Blue Cross, KPMG, and Wendell Funk, Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, and our Audiences Services Sponsors BeyonDancing, The Spangler Group, and Woodcrest Villa.

New York Casting is done by Bob Cline Casting. Interviews are available with the cast and/or director based on availability. Production photos are available upon request. Performance Schedule follows at the end of the release.

Single ticket prices range from $25 - $68, with Student Rush available. Fulton Theatre performs in its home, the national historic landmark Fulton Opera House located at 12 North Prince Street in Lancaster, PA. For more information or to purchase tickets call 717.397.7425 or visit theFulton.org.

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