’80s musical opens Friday

The musical comedy “Back to the 80s” opens Friday to close the 13th Street Theatre’s 2022-23 season.

Written by Neil Gooding, the show focuses on the senior class of William Ocean High School, chronicling the romances and rivalries of the jocks, nerds and girls-next-door. It’s a campy musical ode to the decade that gave the world the Rubik’s Cube, Max Headroom and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The songs include such 1980s hits as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Kids In America,” “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” “We Built This City,” “Mickey,” “Video Killed The Radio Star,” “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” “You Give Love A Bad Name,” “Love Shack,” “Total Eclipse Of The Heart,” “Walking On Sunshine,” “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “Material Girl” and “(I’ve Had) The Time Of Me Life.”

According to director Kimberly Godfrey Warren, “What I find appealing about the show is that it has the feel of those late ’80s and early ’90s sitcoms. And of course the music is nostalgic and wonderful. It’s been very fun watching the people involved in the show who lived through the ’80s react to the songs and references. I was born in the mid-’80s and still know and love all the references and music. It also has a sweet sort of ‘Wonder Years’ energy to it, along with that feel-good sitcom vibe. Everything about it is fun.”

Debra Fleming is the music director.

“Back to the 80s” 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through April 2 at Ashtabula Arts Center,2928 W. 13th St., Ashtabula. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students, senior citizens and military and $11 for children ages 2 to 12 if purchased in advance at ashtabulaartscenter.org or by calling 440-964-3396 and $17, $15 and $13 at the door. Pay-What-You-Can pricing is available for all performances.


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