A blast from the past

The+Starr%E2%80%99s+Mill+Drama+department+performs+%E2%80%9CBack+to+the+%E2%80%9880s.%E2%80%9D+While+there+are+some+minor+qualms+to+be+had+regarding+the+plot%2C+the+department+took+the+material+and+put+on+a+near-flawless%2C+nostalgia-filled+show.+

Katie Linkner

The Starr’s Mill Drama department performs “Back to the ‘80s.” While there are some minor qualms to be had regarding the plot, the department took the material and put on a near-flawless, nostalgia-filled show.

Starr’s Mill’s production of “Back to the ‘80s” walks the narrow line between nostalgia and entertainment, sometimes succeeding in both and sometimes failing to achieve either.

Everything about the drama department’s 2019 spring production boasts a blast from the past…”

— Staff Writer Grace Maneein

Everything about the drama department’s 2019 spring production boasts a blast from the past, and although the opening night show was a fun experience, there were a few things that were a little off.

The characters of “Back to the ‘80s” are a mix of classic ‘80s tropes, from the geek to the popular girl to the jerk. Every actor and actress did an amazing job of bringing their characters to life, reflecting the talent of the Mill’s drama department. In particular, I enjoyed the comic relief. Feargal (sophomore Seth Moan) and Cyndi (junior Celeste Boullion) were performed fantastically, and I found myself cracking up a ton during the show.

Sadly, these archetypal characters are poorly written, just filling the same static position in the narrative they would have in a generic high school movie. The plot can be messy, with three separate subplots that aren’t well paced. That being said, this is reminiscent of a lot of the ‘80s era blockbusters, so while I might not have found the plot or characters compelling, it’s definitely entertaining and true to the vibe the show tries to emulate.

Something remarkable in the production of “Back to the ‘80s” that’s not often acknowledged is the pit orchestra. With live music, everything feels so much more tangible and real, which makes a production with live music infinitely better.

With live music, everything feels so much more tangible and real…”

— Staff Writer Grace Maneein

The orchestra is smaller compared to last year, meaning that each instrumentalist is completely and utterly integral to the operation of the show, which can be a source of great risk. But conductor Scott King and the musicians execute this flawlessly, and there’s not a hiccup to be had in the entire operation of the show.

Another positive note is the work of the people behind the curtains, as the crew did a fantastic job on the technical side of things. The lighting was perfect the entire time and the use of the smoke machine really enhanced the audience experience. This atmosphere is key to the show.

Peppered with classic ‘80s bops throughout, with a tone and plot reminiscent of the ‘80s, the Mill’s production of “Back to the ‘80s” is exhilarating for the audience. No doubt, the little issues from opening night will fade away this weekend and result in a fantastic experience overall.

Nostalgia inducing for those who experienced high school during that time, “Back to the ‘80s” also provides a great window for anyone who wants to experience an era long past, if only for a couple of hours.