Lamb’s Players Theatre presents Mixtape – the Best of the 80s! LAMB’S exhilarating Journey through the music, the dance & the memories of that most awesome decade.
It was impossible to tell that it was opening weekend with the flawless performance of the entire cast. The show begins in a present day world with non-stop, cellphone attached, business professionals. When their phones stop connecting to wi-fi, the seven strangers take a trip down memory lane. They begin to share what each of their lives were like in the ’80s. While I had assumed that this would be accomplished by song, it was far more comprehensive than that. The show went into songs, television shows, movies, and even historical events.
Lamb’s is an intimate theater. Instead of extending horizontally, the seating extends vertically almost assuring that there is no bad seat in the house. Platform ladders were used onstage to optimize space creating depth to the smaller stage. Possibly most important in the scenery for me (who did not live through the ’80s), were the screens on stage that could be used as information for what the music number was referring too. For example, I had no idea who the girl with the lopsided pigtails and bright clothes was supposed to be. The screen showed a TV poster for “Punky Brewster.”
The show flowed well and I appreciated that they did not work too hard in making it completely in chronological order, or cutting it off at exactly ’80 to ’89. The musical numbers bounced between “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton in 1980 to “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds in 1984 and all over again. This allowed more flexibility to create a fun experience instead of limiting themselves. In fact, all of the topics and performances flowed well with the exception of “Luka,” a 1987 song about abuse that was succeeded by “Pac Man Fever.” The show hit on hard topics of the ’80s like being a child watching the Challenger mission fail, AIDS, and starvation in Africa. While it is far easier to promote laughter, it takes real skill to incite the goosebumps that came in those scenes.
While some scenes were serious, most were lighthearted and fun. I don’t think I have ever been part of a show where the audience literally hooted and hollered with laughter. Taht was the feeling of being in that audience, like you were part of something. As an ’80s lover, my mom was my date for the show. During the Jazzercise scene, complete with Velcro (was that a thing??) and over the top exercise moves, my mom leaned over chuckling, “so accurate.”
“Dirty Dancing” may have been the most popular scene of the night. The audience squealed with delight at the Patrick Swayze character. Mixtape also took an opportunity to walk through ’80’s horror films and transitioned perfectly into a “Ghost Busters” number. While the cast was convincing, I was also impressed with the live band. A few numbers incorporated the band into the actual performance instead of having them off in the background and that crossover was truly special.
It did not take more than second after the show ended for every audience to be on their feet in a roaring standing ovation. The acting, the singing, the detailed costumes, the crisp dance moves, everything brought you back in time. My mom, Kelly, shares, “It brings back memories. Especially the Challenger. I remember being in class and them rolling out a little TV on a stand to watch that.”
Mixtape opened Wednesday, June 12, and has been extended an extra month, through September 1.
Lamb’s Players Theatre
1142 Orange Ave, Coronado
Ticket prices vary depending on the production, the seating section you choose, and the day of the week you attend. Tickets can start as low as $24 for a seat in Section B on a weeknight. They can go as high at $82 for Prime seats on a weekend matinee. There are three seating sections Prime, Section A, and Section B. Musicals tend to be more expensive than plays. Tickets are available through LAMB’s Box Office at (619) 437-6000 or online at www.LambsPlayers.org.
There are special rates for this production:
- Children aged 5 – 17 and Active Duty Military: 50% off the full adult price for all performances
- Young Adults (18 thru 34) who join our free <35 Club: 50% off the full adult price for all performances
- $5 Off for Seniors (66 and over) & Veterans
- Group Discounts for groups of 10 or more.
- Season Membership offers you the Best Seats at the Best Price, with savings up to 50% off, and a host of additional rewards & discounts.