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Copenhagen musical goes “Back to the 80s”


COPENHAGEN — To borrow a term from that decade, Sara D. Gleason has found the 1980s to be quite “bodacious.”

The musical “Back to the 80s” has become a hit for the students here, who will stage the show at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the gymnatorium.

One day last week, shortly before some students practiced their choreography to the B-52s’ “Love Shack” on the gym floor while others buzzed around on stage, Mrs. Gleason, vocal and general music teacher at Copenhagen, noted that students have found much to relate to in the ’80s decade.

“It’s just a lot of songs that people recognize,” Mrs. Gleason said. “It’s surprising, in general, how much of the ’80s have come back for high school kids — the fashion, the songs ... not so much the poofy hair, luckily.”

“Back to the 80s,” written by Neil Gooding, is a musical in two acts. It tells the story of the senior class of William Ocean High School as remembered and seen through the eyes of Corey Palmer, who is now 30-something.

“It’s basically a typical ’80s high school scene,” said senior Heidi K. Moser, who plays Tiffany. “It has all the same drama. It’s about going to the prom and a new girl comes in who doesn’t exactly fit in with the cool crowd. She tries to find her place.”

Besides music from the B-52s, the production includes popular ’80s songs “Girls Just What to have Fun,” “Footloose,” “Walking on Sunshine” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

“I like how it brings back memories to the audience,” said senior Christopher M. Romero, who plays Cory.

Both of the students enjoyed learning about the music.

“I think it’s cool,” said Heidi. “It’s definitely different than ours. But it’s fun to listen to. And singing and making the choreography for the dances has been a lot of fun.”

“I think it will be fun for the audience, especially those raised in the ’80s,” Chris said. “It will be like a flashback, with all the styles we’re wearing and the songs. It should be fun.”

Mrs. Gleason said one benefit of the show is not having to search far for costumes.

“Students haven’t had a lot of trouble finding them,” she said. “They ask me, ‘What should I wear? What’s ’80s’?’ I tell them, ‘You have it on.’”

Heidi said some of the fashions have changed, but students had a way to view those styles from four decades ago.

“We had to Google a lot,” she said.

Mrs. Gleason said she’s happy to see the high student interest in the musical.

“I wanted something they could relate to in order to get more kids involved,” she said. “A majority of the lead roles are not involved in the music department. They were interested enough to audition and join.”

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The cast of “Back to the 80s” at Copenhagen Central School District:

Adam Woodruff as Corey Palmer; Christopher Romero as Corey Palmer Jr.; Zachary Nicol as Alf Bueller; Nick Harris as Kirk Keaton; Heidi Moser as Tiffany Houston; Sydney O’Shaughnessy as Cyndi Gibson; Elizabeth Martin as Mel Easton; Kelsey Pitts as Kim Easton; Chris Thompson as Michael Feldman; Alex Herzberg as Billy Arnold; Kenny Hamilton as Lionel Astley; Najib Quinones as Huey Jackson; Christian Hamilton as Feargal McFerrin; Sara Goutremout as Eileen Reagan; Samantha Kallen as Laura Wilde; Jessia Sanders as Debbie Fox; Christian Johnson as Mr. Stevie Cocker, Rachel Bush-Muncy as Ms. Sheena Brannigan and Emily Sipher and Laura Graves as featured singers.

Billy Arnold’s back-up singers: Makenzie Carr, Mackenzie St. Louis, Madison Furgison, Morgan Young and Hailey Baisden.

Chorus: Jenna Bevens, Stephanie Aubin, Erica Culver, Dakota Petrie, Taylor Ridsdale, Emily Scholler and Ashley Young.

Backstage crew: Sydney Greene and Ian Sawyer.

The details
WHAT: Copenhagen Central School music department presents “Back to the 80s — The Totally Awesome Musical.”
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the district’s gymnatorium, 3020 Mechanic St.
COST: Tickets are $5.
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