I just finished the artwork for an upcoming book, FOOTLOOSE by Kenny Loggins. The book is being published by Moondance Press/ Quarto Publishing Group. I'm really excited about this one and I think a lot of people are going to be putting on their dancin' shoes in October. The original song (FOOTLOOSE) has been re-written to become a fun story that takes place after hours, at the zoo. The art is full of animals, color, texture, fun and a whole lot of DANCIN'!
Plus, while painting these illustrations, I listened to Kenny's Return to Pooh Corner
CD. Pure magic. I usually don't work directly with the author but I spoke to Kenny about his vision for the story. His input made the story telling more complete.
So, this October...
"EVERYBODY CUT FOOTLOOSE"!
One of my newest projects is to illustrate a book, written by Kenny Loggins. He re-wrote the song, FOOTLOOSE, as a kids song and the book will have a CD in the back so readers can read along, follow the story with illustrations and dance to this great Kenny Loggins song.
Acrylic paint on a gessoed bristol board.
Here are two finished interior pages.
Here is the final art for the cover and end papers. The CD (FOOTLOOSE song) will be placed where the moon is positioned, inside the back cover. So, the moon will be the CD.
The new song sounds great. Kenny did a fantastic job of adding a kid spin to the original version. This is a lot of fun but I have a hard time painting, while dancing. Believe me, you'll be putting on your dancin' shoes, too!
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Most movie remakes are disappointing, falling far short of the original. However, that’s not the case with the new “Footloose,” an updated take on the classic ‘80s film that inspired teens and adults alike. Despite having big dancing shoes... Read the rest of this post
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Lindsay, age 7 or 8, and me, age 30-something
Once upon a time, when Len and I lived in our old house, a new family moved in next door.
Along with her parents, older brother and two barky dogs, Lindsay, age 6, soon became a special friend. Both of us loved Eloise; it had been one of her mother's favorite books, too, so the enthusiasm for the little Plaza Hotel minx ran in the family. Lindsay even began calling me Eloise, which I didn't mind at all. It was like a secret handshake, a code, a bonding thing. We had fun tickling the ivories, playing with the Paddingtons, and donning elf shoes for a Christmas party.
More than anything, though, Lindsay loved to perform. She attended the Northern Virginia School for Dance and Theatre, and we had the distinct pleasure of watching her tap, pirouette, and jazz step her way through many recitals. She soon became a triple threat -- developing her singing and acting talents further at Penn State. Whenever she took the stage, she had that certain sparkle and presence that compelled you to watch her every move. Before we knew it, little Lindsay had grown into a beautiful young woman, who moved to NYC to pursue the next phase of her career.
Isn't she gorgeous?
At some point before she left home, Lindsay and I made a
pact -- that one day, when she became famous and opened on Broadway, she would save us front row seats. Though that day still looms somewhere on the horizon, she is making great strides towards realizing her dream.
She's been in a host of regional productions, including A Chorus Line, Godspell, The Full Monty, 42nd Street, The Sound of Music, and Copacabana. She's been through all the ups and downs of auditions, call-backs, and near misses, working as a restaurant hostess and in real estate to pay the bills. She's auditioned for the Broadway production of A Chorus Line, the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, even American Idol. There have been some disappointments along the way, like when she auditioned for Hairspray -- they loved her singing, but told her she was too tall! Still, she continues to hone her craft, move forward, make new inroads -- stretching her wings with each new role, tour, or venue.
Lindsay in A Christmas Review at the Shawnee Playhouse
Last year, *ta da* Lindsay won the lead role of Ariel Moore in the 10th Anniversary National Tour of Footloose! Ever since December, she and her fellow actors have been traveling all over the country with their rambunctious, toe-tapping, highly energized production based on the 1984 movie. Variety raved about its "genuine artistry and innovation," while the L.A. Movie Gazette calls it, "One of the most extraordinary musicals ever to come out of Hollywood. Footloose blends fantastical situations with important issues and balances them perfectly."
Lindsay as Ariel in Footloose.
Well, Footloose is playing several venues in Virginia, the closest of which is at the Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville. I just purchased tickets to attend that performance in April; it'll be the first time we'll be seeing Lindsay in several years. We can't wait!
Thought I'd pass along this link to the Footloose Tour website, which contains the master schedule of all performances. They'll be zigzagging their way through states like California, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, Minnesota, Texas, Missouri, Washington, and Pennsylvania.
So, if you're looking to break out of the winter blues, or need something to look forward to this spring, go see Footloose. Lindsay might very well be performing at a venue near you!!
This just in: While Lindsay was recently performing in California, some of the writers, including Kenny Loggins, came to the show. Paramount is doing a remake of the movie, and has signed Zac Ephron for the role of Ren!! No word on the female lead, yet, but hello, big Hollywood producer people: What about Lindsay?!
Isn't it nice to know that if you work hard, dreams can come true? Remember this name: Lindsay Luppino. And stay tuned. This rising star is shooting for the moon!
**Check out Lindsay's website for her full resume and more photos!
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Remember when I blogged about my former neighbor, Lindsay Luppino, who is now an actor playing the lead role of Ariel in the 10th Anniversary Tour of Footloose?
Well, last Thursday Len and I drove over to Charlottesville, Virginia, and finally got to see this fabulous production!
Lindsay (far right), as Ariel Moore.
(photo from Footloose Tour website)
Geez Louise, but that girl can sing and dance! What a set of pipes she's been blessed with! I have to say I got all teary-eyed seeing her up there on that stage -- so beautiful, so talented and energetic, simply wowing the audience with that same sparkle and charisma that was evident so many years ago. But this time, it was both heartwarming and mind boggling to see how much she's honed her craft over the years, and come into her own with such confidence and poise. She's blossomed into a consummate professional, and blew us away in her sassy red boots!
We met her in the lobby after the performance, and she explained how the set and some of their dance numbers had to be altered to accommodate the small stage at the Paramount Theatre. Extra kudos must go out to the entire cast, for they worked around these changes with such aplomb, that the audience was none the wiser.
This is a very tight ensemble with strong singers and dancers who thoroughly captivated us with their story. We were treated to many great moments -- humorous, dramatic, and touching, and I guarantee that if you see this production of "Footloose," you will leave the theatre flying high with joy and elation. It is appropriate for the entire family, and will be especially loved by "High School Musical" fans. Ariel Moore and Ren McCormick definitely are lead characters to swoon over and root for.
The play runs through the end of May, so there's still time for those of you in these cities:
Grand Forks, ND
Cape Girardeau, MO
San Luis Obispo, CA
Santa Fe, NM
Check the Footloose Tour website for dates and venues!
Let the dancing begin!