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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Immersive FOOTLOOSE? Entire State Bans Art Form Under Auspicious Reasons to Protect Children

by Matt Keeley. @reallymattkeeley.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As Tennessee prepares to enforce newly signed legislation prohibiting public drag shows, many residents have grappled with the law’s auspicious reasoning supposedly to protect children and concluded that their state must have launched a massive immersive production of the musical Footloose.

“When I heard the news, I thought, ‘Wait a second, where have I heard this before?’” asked Memphis public school teacher Forrest Carmichael. “A conservative authority outlawing public performance art? Drawing from imagined threats to the spiritual purity of the youth? I thought the material would be dated by now, but it’s still surprisingly relevant.”

This contemporary retelling of the 80s’ dance hit is the first of its kind - transforming the entirety of America’s fifteenth most populous state into the fictitious small town of Bomont, where dancing and rock & roll music has been strictly outlawed. Tennesseans across all walks of life have found the production to be daring, but troubling.

“Personally, I find Gov. Bill Lee to be such an innovative casting choice for Reverend Shaw,” exclaimed churchgoer Maggie DuBois, kicking off her Sunday shoes. “He’s an overbearing father figure ignoring actual issues while instituting dangerous legislation under the guise of ‘safety’, who hasn’t quite yet learned to let kids have fun - and also the actual governor!”

Similarly, many have wondered who would play the brash lead Ren McCormack: the tough new kid in town who convinces the town of the joys of dance. Due to the nature of the immersive production, some hopeful citizens have taken it upon themselves to step into the role.

“I think I can do a pretty good Kevin Bacon impression,” panted high school junior Charlie Mastie after dancing backlit through rows of boxes in an abandoned warehouse. “And why not me? After all, Shaw opens the story by preaching that he believes God keeps bad things in the world because he’s testing how people react. It’s always these people veiling their prejudice behind kids. It’s never just dancing and rock and roll. It’s marginalizing the people who enjoy dancing and rock and roll, and have for hundreds of years before now - and to that I say, ‘Let’s dance!’”

As of publication, no information has been released regarding the production’s ticket prices, run time, or closing date, but rumored remounts have been planned in at least thirteen other state governments.


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