MIXTAPE, the audience favorite that ran for many years at the Horton Grand These is back at the Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado through September 1st and it has brought all of the 80”s back for the audience to enjoy. All of the spectacle, music, and pop culture highlights allow you to go back in time and enjoy the 80’s before coming back to the future- 1.21 gigawatts or going 88 mph not necessary.
It all kicks off with a truly modern tragedy, all of a sudden no one’s cell phones or emails work. The talented (and seemingly tireless) ensemble; Angela Chatelain Avila, Marqell Edward Clayton, David S. Humphrey, Janaya Mahealani Jones, A.J. Mendoza, Shawn W. Smith, and Joy Yandell, find themselves reminiscing about growing up during the 1980’s. Each performer has standout moments, but the real joy of the show comes from them as a group reliving the roller coaster of emotions of the entire decade.
Created by Jon Lorenz and Colleen Kollar Smith and directed by Kerry Meads MIXTAPE covers every possible moment from the 80’s, much to the enjoyment of the audience. The music and the choreography are fast paced and the cast zips through everything from Michael Jackson, Madonna, and the dawning of MTV (this is when the actually played music on the channel), to dance pop, New Wave, pop power ballads, hair bands and more. The musical performances are top notch and the ensemble is supported by an excellent band.
Projections by Michael McKeon are colorful and immediately put you in the 80’s frame of mind while the many costumes by Jemima Dutra showcase the wide variety of notable looks from the decade.
At two and half hours, covering SO MUCH of the 80’s feels excessive, but it keeps up the energy and the spectacle the entire time. There’s nothing subtle or understated as they run through cartoon and tv show themes songs, to the Challenger Explosion and barely stop for breath. There’s even a brief “very special episode” moment when the song “Luka” is sung about an abusive childhood. But then again, why expect any subtly from a decade that so fully embraced neon, lace trimmed socks, shoulder pads, leg warmers, and teased and crimped hair?
“You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have” an infectiously fun and nostalgic look back at the 80”’s. MIXTAPE is a high energy audience pleaser for those who are looking for a good time at the theatre. Now you know, and as G.I. Joe cartoons taught “knowing is half the battle!”
MIXTAPE is playing at the Lamb’s Players Theatre in Coronado through September 1st. For show time and ticket information go to www.lambsplayers.org