Lose your blues, cut loose, and kick off your Sunday shoes

as HITS Theatre presents the finger-snapping, toe-tapping musical, FOOTLOOSE at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Photo of Caleb Han (Chuck), Cameron Mills (Willard), Miles Marmolejo (Ren), Mia Heckler (Ariel), Kennedy Haygood (Rusty), Payton Russell (Wendy Jo), Carolyn Cox (Urleen)
All photo captions: Courtesy of HITS Theatre

HOUSTON — HITS Theatre celebrates its 30th Anniversary with the production of Footloose, The Musical , a Tony award-winning musical at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park at 6000 Hermann Park Drive with performances scheduled for March 30, 31 and April 1, 6, 7, 8 at 8 p.m.

Photo of Miles Marmolejo (Ren) and Mia Heckler (Ariel) courtesy of HITS Theatr

One of the most explosive movie musicals in recent memory bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. When Ren, played by Miles Marmolejo, 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 Ariel, played by Mia Heckler, sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid.

The heartfelt 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. To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated top 40 score 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.

Miles Marmolejo, from the Greater Fondren Southwest Neighborhood (77071), is excited to make his HITS debut. Marmolego is in the ninth grade at Connections Academy of Houston, an online school.

Mia Heckler, from Bellaire, Texas is 17 years old and a homeschooled 12th grader. This is her eighth Miller show.

Other cast members include:

Caroline Cox, from the Briar Grove Neighborhood area is a senior at Lamar High School

Payton Russell, 17, from Conroe attends The John Cooper School

Kennedy Haygood, lives in Pearland and attends Manvel High School

Cameron Mills, 16, lives in Bellaire and attends St. Thomas High School

Caleb Han, lives in Houston Heights and is a junior at the Post Oak High School

Since 1987, HITS Theatre has partnered with Miller Outdoor Theatre and the City of Houston to present a Broadway-style musical theatre production to Houstonians and visitors free of charge. HITS provides a talented cast of students; Miller provides invaluable support, a first-class facility and a picturesque venue. It’s a beautiful partnership that offers HITS students the unique opportunity to perform in a full-scale theatrical production in front of a large audience.

This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free tickets are available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30 a.m. -1 p.m. If tickets remain at 1 p.m., the box office will re-open one hour before show time to distribute the remaining tickets.

Don’t want to wait in line? As a benefit to donors, HITS provides assigned seats under the covered pavilion so you may enjoy the show and experience firsthand how your generosity makes the music happen. Interested in supporting theatre education and securing tickets? Contact 713-861-7408 or https://www.hitstheatre.org/miller/30th-anniversary-production.html

Bring a cozy blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the show from the Miller Theatre lawn, the perfect place for a picnic and a show. Tickets are not needed for open seating on the hill. The shows go on rain or shine.

About HITS Theatre

HITS Theatre is a leading nonprofit performing arts education organization for young people in the Houston metropolitan area. It provides a performance-based curriculum for students in grades 1 through 12 through classes taught by skilled professionals in a safe, nurturing environment. Each year HITS programs serve over 1,000 students, some of whom receive partial or full needs-based scholarships. For more information about HITS, visit www.hitstheatre.org.