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ALT revs up with ‘Footloose’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A song-and-dance confection for the pre- “Glee” generation,

“Footloose” scored a massive hit on its 1984 release.

A musical stage version of the film surfaced on both London’s West End and Broadway in 1998.

The Albuquerque Little Theatre will present this high energy romp starting Friday, Oct. 5, running on weekends through Oct. 28.

“This one in particular drew a lot of young people, which is exciting,” director Laura Nuzum said of the cast of 34.

The stage version is rare because it retains the song rights —— songs by everyone from Kenny Loggins to John Mellencamp to Foreigner and Quiet Riot.

The story concerns a Chicago teenager named Ren, whose father has left the family, forcing his mother to move in with his aunt and uncle in a small Texas town.

As he attends school and makes friends he learns the city council has banned both rock music and dancing.

“It’s been abolished because they think it’s evil,” Nuzum said, adding, “It’s the ’80s version of hip-hop. Break dancing had started to come out.”

Ren soon begins to fall for a rebellious teen named Ariel, who has an abusive boyfriend. He learns her minister father provided the ammunition for the no-dancing ban.

“It’s a very simple story,” Nuzum said. “It’s the music and the dancing and the relationships between the kids that bring it together.” The film was loosely based on actual events that occurred in the small, rural and religious community of Elmore City, Okla.