TV PERSONALITY and stage sensation Carlo McFarlane has landed a lead role in the Broadway musical Footloose, which will hit the Johannesburg Theatre next month.
The actor will lead an local cast in this musical after his excellent performance in the hugely popular High School Musical, also a Broadway production, last year.
This time around he plays lead character Ren McCormack in the musical, which opens on July 10 and runs until August 23.
The musical is about life in small-town Bomont in the US. The town is peaceful until McCormack - the city boy with the overactive sneakers - arrives and clashes with Reverend Shaw Moore, Bomont's authority figure.
Challenging every one of Moore's opinions and breaking every taboo, McCormack brings dance back to the heart of a town held back by the memory of a tragedy.
He takes on the town - and wins.
"Casting Footloose is so dependent on the talent, charisma, energy and credibility of its leading player," says Bernard Jay, chief executive officer of the Johannesburg Theatre and executive producer of the local show.
"Whoever plays Ren McCormack arrives with the baggage of Kevin Bacon's career-launching film role. We at the theatre knew exactly who we wanted but the actor also had to convince the UK director and West End producer of the show through a gruelling audition process." .
And so he did. Multitalented McFarlane has been cast in the leading role.
"McFarlane's extraordinary power and energy as Tyrone, not to mention his ability to become a stage sex symbol overnight, just screamed for him to portray Ren in Footloose," Jay said.
In 2004 McFarlane won the Naledi Theatre Award for Best Performance by a Newcomer for his portrayal of Tyrone in Fame The Musical - and he broke the record for the number of female fans at Johannesburg Theatre's stage door waiting for him after every performance.