When sitting down to write for Fantastix, I thought about the shows I have really enjoyed being in and watching or which cast recordings are in my Car CD Album or I Tunes Account. I came to the conclusion that Musicals set in the 80s or that came out in the 80s really did dominate.
Being born in the early part of the 80’s, 80’s Pop and Rock music was constantly playing in our family car, wherever we went. As a result that style of music really hits an enjoyable and nostalgic nerve for me when I hear them in musicals.
I’ve been involved in a number of 80’s musicals including the Juke Box Musical, Back To The 80s (written by Packemin Productions Founder and Director Neil Gooding) twice , once onstage and once as Director. That show in particular has given me many fond memories and I believe it is a popular one for Community Theatre Groups to put on. From the costumes to the soundtrack and even character names this show is full of 1980’s nostalgia.
Another fun show with a hit soundtrack that stemmed from an Adam Sandler movie is The Wedding Singer the Musical. Being on the Production Team and also a cast member of this show was an amazing experience and whenever I see any society advertising, I’m straight away looking to book tickets. The score and lyrics scream out loud the funky music that inspired the 80s era.
A number of other 80’s Movies that have recently been turned into stage productions include Flashdance (with that number one hit song “What a Feeling) and Carrie the Musical based on the horror novel by Stephen King and then movie starring Sissy Spacek.
A musical written by the very popular men from the hit group ABBA, Benny and Bjorn was Chess the Musical which is another very popular show that Musical Society’s produce regularly. This is an entertaining show based on Cold War politics and has some amazing songs for singers and actors to showcase their talents.
There are many other 80’s musicals that are either set in the 1980s or were written in the 80’s that all have incredible sounding scores and lyrics. If you haven’t seen any of these shows or heard a soundtrack, do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a dabble in the world of an 80’s musical.
ABOUT James Russell – Guest Author
James has been acting for 25 years beginning at Roo Theatre Shellharbour, with roles in Childrens Crusade, Pied Piper, Singing In The Rain, The Wizard Of Oz, Godspell and Shlarba . Acradians Theatre Group, Joseph, Annie Get Your Gun and Producer on Nun Crackers. Other credits;
- The Ocracy – Wollongong: Cats and Oliver .
- Holroyd Musical Dramatic Society: Wizard Of Oz, Cats, Spamalot and Director on Back To The 80s.
- Canterbury Theatre Guild: Shout and Director on The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
- Ashfield Musical Society: Pirates Of Penzance
- Mosman Musical Society: Xanadu
- Bankstown Theatre Company: Annie.
- Shire Music Theatre: Addams Family, and Assistant Director on The Drowsy Chaperone
- Willoughby Theatre Company: Magic of The Musicals and Assistant Director on Mame.
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