I may have been born in the mid 80s, but I still consider myself a child of the that decade. I remember cartoons like Jem, ThunderCats and Rainbow Brite. I remember attending Jazzercise with my babysitter and also remember my mother's ridiculous perm. I also have fond memories of playing my ColecoVision on Saturday mornings. Not to mention, I was quite proud of the mixtape and record collection my brother shared.
This walk down memory lane has a point, don't worry.
While strolling through the Gaslamp District one Saturday afternoon, my husband and I walked by the Horton Grand Theatre and saw a poster for the Lamb's Players current production, Mixtape. Showcasing the music of Peter Gabriel, the B52s, Tears for Fears, Billy Joel, Madonna, Journey, The Cure and much more, the off-Broadway production promised to take viewers back to a period where analog ruled all.
Having a love and appreciation for anything from that decade, we called the ticket office and booked our tickets for that evening. Ticket prices start as a low as $25.
We returned a few hours later, gussied up and ready for a night of fun and music. Mixtape was more than a way of showcasing the music of the decade. The production started with eight bystandards, engrossed in their phones and lives. One memory of the decade, triggered a series of events that brought the eight individuals back in time, a voyage that took less than 1.21 gigawatts. No characters or true storyline was set up, but the play was a way of showing these eight people the simpler times.
The production covered more than just music. Forgotten factoids and important moments of the decade were brought up including sports statistics, MTV, AIDS, the breaking of the Berlin wall and the Challenger incident. An overall theme of the play was the power of the mixtape and how a simple piece of plastic brought so much joy to so many people. The mixtape was a way of communicating complicated emotions such as love or sorrow but the mixtape was also a way of showcasing someone's individuality.
The costumes were equally entertaining. Lace gloves, bedazzled shirts, leather-fringed jackets and acid wash jeans were all present. I'm convinced the costumes were either purchased at thrift stores or local shopping malls. (It's rather gross how many trends from the 80s have come back in recent fashion trends.) Wigs were used to bring back iconic hairstyles such as the mullet or perm. The details were stupendous and made the production more fun.
The evening was so much fun and filled with great music. The audience, although small, sang along and interacted. Everyone was laughing at certain jokes, innuendos and seeing certain fashion trends. My husband and I love seeing live theatre and musicals and now I have to go and see other productions from the Lambs Players.