A few weeks ago we presented a story about the Detour Company Theatre, a remarkable group of men and women who put on all types of stage productions, and all of whom are disabled in some way, ranging from mild autism to paralysis. The company’s most recent production was a stage adaptation of the wildly popular 1980’s musical film “Footloose.”
While rehearsing the play, the show’s director suggested that it would be fun if they got actor Kevin Bacon, who played the lead role of Ren in the movie, to attend the show, since it was the 30th anniversary of the film. The idea took off, with the group posting a video invitation to the actor. (Like many others who wanted to help, we gave the invitation a social media boost!) The video went viral, and many were waiting to see if word would get back to the actor, and if he would attend.
Recently, the show was staged, and the cast and crew had to be wondering if Bacon was in the audience. As it turned out, when the show was done and the cast finished taking their bows, a massive screen behind them flashed to life, and there on screen was Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael.
It turned out that Bacon was unable to make the show due to a prior booking for his Bacon Brothers band, but he was very much aware of the performance and wanted to deliver a special message to the group.
Said Bacon, “I wish I could’ve been there. I wish we could’ve been there, but we hear that you guys are doing a kick-ass job!” He went on to say, “We’re thinking of you and sending out good wishes, and I know you crushed it.”
Originally, the plan was for the Bacon Brothers to have performed the title song, “Footloose,” but a weather-related delay threw off the scheduling, so the personal message was the best Bacon could do. The video feed between the two venues was set up by Bacon’s own nonprofit, SixDegrees.org, which helps to connect celebrities with charities and worthwhile causes. Because of the delay, he said he would make sure to give the group some publicity via a mention to the 10,000-plus attendees at his concert, and would continue to mention the group on Twitter in the future, using the hashtag #footloose, and through a donation platform set up by sixdegrees.org.
And while Bacon may have held the spotlight for a few minutes, director and group founder Sam made sure to bring it right back home by saying, “Kevin Bacon may not be here, but behind me is a group of celebrities the likes of which you will never meet!”
The theater of 850 people erupted into applause at the statement, which you can watch below, and then everyone got up to dance to the theme song once more, along with the cast and crew. Like this talented troupe of players, we love Bacon, too!