By Katie Benfield
Are you feeling nostalgic for the good old days or wanting to tag along for a blast into the past? Want to relive the 80’s or experience what it was like to be a teenager over 30 years ago?
Then you’re in luck because the Beanstalk Community Theatre will be presenting “Back to the 80’s: The Totally Awesome Musical!” from Mar. 30-April 1 at the Harvest House Performing Arts Venue.
“Back to the 80’s” joins Corey Palmer, a thirty-something adult who is looking back on his life as a senior at William Ocean High School. Seventeen-year-old Corey is going through what any teen in the 80’s dealt with—being in love with his neighbor who is crazy over the most popular boy around. Corey and his two best friends fantasize about being as cool as the hottest guys in town, but they’re thankful they aren’t as lame as the kid who thinks that one day CD’s will replace cassette tapes. What a nerd!
“This is something new for us,” Terry Woolard, director of the show, said. “It’s a departure from the types of shows we usually do in the spring, and it seemed like a challenge and something fun.”
Not only is the “Back to the 80’s” show a new and interesting kind of show for the Beanstalk Community Theatre, but it’s been several years since they have performed an adult musical.
Originally, “Back to the 80’s” was written and designed to be played by highschoolers, considering the bulk of the story revolves around teenagers in their senior year of high school. However, to Woolard and the BCT, that just didn’t make sense.
“We were doing a read-through, and we realized that most high schoolers wouldn’t understand any of the 80’s jokes,” Woolard said. “So, we have a cast of mainly adults, playing high schoolers, and making fun of themselves as teenagers.”
The performance is leaden with jokes, with Woolard claiming that even though he knows the jokes are coming, he still laughs every time.
“We’ve done comedies before,” Woolard said. “But this time, there are some outstanding performances, and the comedy is gold. Come out expecting to laugh.”
Along with comedic genius, the show is also chocked full of musical numbers galore — totaling up to 22 songs throughout the duration.
“There is a lot of great 80’s music,” Woolard said. “It’s very music-heavy.”
According to Woolard, the 80’s era is making a resurgence in modern society. Because of this, they thought putting on a show that revolved round the 80’s would pique an interest in the community.
“Everything comes in cycles with fashion, film and music,” Woolard said. “When I looked at things that I see on television and the radio, what my kids are wearing, it’s clear that the 80’s are making a comeback.”
While the show was originally designed to be played by younger actors, Woolard stated that he would still rate the show PG-13, as some of the humor is insinuating.
There are three performances in all. Two on Mar 30-31 at 7 p.m. and one on April 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are selling out quickly, according to Woolard, and they are expecting sold-out shows every day. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children. Prices go up at the door, so it is encouraged that you buy them ahead of time online.
You can order tickets online here.
Here is the list of the talented cast for “Back to the 80’s:
COREY PALMER (SENIOR) – Brant Burgiss
COREY PALMER (JUNIOR) – Stephen Redmon-Byrum
ALF BUELLER – Zack Cole
KIRK KEATON – Mike Cole
TIFFANY HOUSTON – Heather McCurry
CYNDI GIBSON – Julie Scott
MEL EASTON – Tiffany Christian
KIM EASTON – Whitney Huckel
MICHAEL FELDMAN – AJ Ugenti
BILLY ARNOLD – Gavin McGee
LIONEL ASTLEY -Shane Lee Miller
HUEY JACKSON – Victoria Klinger
FEARGAL McFERRIN – Adam Newmark
EILEEN REAGAN – Amy Beane
LAURA WILDE – Arwen Taylor
DEBBIE FOX – Megan Ellis
MS SHEENA BRANNIGAN – Andrea McDonough
THE FABULOUS 80’S SINGERS – Serena Taylor and Jodi Taylor
MR STEVIE COCKER – Jason Reagan
Photo by Alan Ray Productions: