In the tradition of 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys, five "boys" from Broadway's Footloose are now being marketed as the "Footloose Five" in the hope of luring more screaming teenage girls than usual into the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
The culmination of a marketing campaign that began earlier this spring is the addition of a post-curtain-call remix version of the title number performed by star Jeremy Kushnier and fellow cast members Casey Miles Good, Jamie Gustis, Bradley Jay Madison and Mark Myars.
The boys are already being seen on building-size billboards and posters around Times Square.
The new arrangement of "Footloose" debuts at 4 PM May 17, following the matinee performance. The song will still be performed in the show itself (as the raucous opening number), but audiences can also expect the "Footloose Five" version from now on, after the bows.
Since Playbill On-Line reported about the new campaign in April, readers have inquired about where to buy posters and CD singles of the boys and their version of the hit tune, which was recorded April 6. A spokesperson for the show said no boy-group paraphernalia is available yet. A specialty performance of a song is not foreign to musicals: One of the highlights of the recent Donny Osmond version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was the post-show "megamix" that was part reprise, part party. Similarly, Saturday Night Fever has an audience friendly disco party in the aisles in the final moments of that show, at the Minskoff.
The recent outdoor posters and the new promotional photos for Footloose show the intense-looking five guys staring aloofly or broodingly (pick one) in their club-worthy duds, with moussed-up hair.
The 18-month Dodger Theatricals hit will vacate the Rodgers by fall to make way for Seussical the Musical. Being pushed out of the Rodgers does not necessarily indicate a closing: If audience interest is high, it's not inconceivable the show could move to another Broadway house.
Footloose, a stage musical adaptation of the hit 1984 film, has been a grassroots favorite, particularly for the teen-girl crowd, since opening Oct. 22, 1998. Critics largely dismissed the show, but audiences have been eating up the hit-filled score, which includes "Holdin' Out for a Hero," "Let's Hear it for the Boy," "Almost Paradise" and is rounded out by new songs by Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow.
The plot concerns a preacher who bans dancing in his small town, and the rebel (Kushnier) who breaks the rule. Walter Bobbie directed and co-wrote the stage version with screenwriter Pitchford.
The Richard Rodgers is at 226 W. 46th St. For tickets, call (212) 307 4100.