The ’80s: just music history to young cast

By Ivy Jensen

ECHUCA-MOAMA Theatre Company is ready to turn back the clocks and party like it’s the 1980s.

The cast of the junior production Back to the ’80s has just been announced and its directors Mark Thomson and Zali McKee couldn’t be happier.

Mark said judges selected a cast of 32 after 58 teens aged between 12 and 18 auditioned for the musical.

And its first rehearsal last Thursday night saw some familiar and new faces to the EMTC family.

"Everyone had the opportunity to sing all of the songs during our first read through," Mark said.

"Most of the production team were having flashbacks to the ’80s and singing along to the songs with the cast.

"The energy level was great and everyone was ready to start the journey."

In her directing debut, Zali said she was looking forward to bring the show to life.

"I had the excited jitters and couldn’t wait for everyone to be together," she said.

"Seeing the kids who have been in shows before already interacting with new EMTC members was heartwarming.

"Laughs were shared throughout the night and Mark and I are very excited to start this journey."

Back to the ’80s tells the story of Corey Palmer and his senior year of high school: his best friends, the class bully, and the girl he loves.

Seventeen-year-old Corey (played by Griffin Visca-Lias) is madly in love with Tiffany Houston (Harper Raverty), one of the coolest girls in the school.

However, she is too busy mooning over Michael Feldman (Kurt Habgood), the hottest guy around.

While Corey and his friends Alf Bueller (Indi Gilmore) and Kirk Keaton (Ethan Kirchhofer) may not be the coolest guys in school, they are still one up on geek Fergal McFerrin (Ethan O’Brien).

The plot follows class president elections, the arrival of new students, and teachers’ own issues. Throw in a Star Wars dream sequence, high-energy dance routines, an ’80s party scene and some of the most popular songs ever written, and you have a musical set to entertain young and old.

Other characters include Cyndi Gibson (played by Kate Thomson), Mel Easton (Ella McCormick), Kim Easton (Emmy McDougal), Billy Arnold (Benjamin Harris), Lionel Astley (Lachlan Gould), Huey Jackson (Olivia Nagle), Eileen Reagan (Madison Cartwright), Laura Wilde (Ella Carriero), Debbie Fox (Emily Polidano), Ms Sheena Brannigan (Drew Walker), Mr Stevie Cocker (Britney Evans), Corey Palmer Snr (Darcy Elliott/James Coleman) and featured singers (Ruby Oman and Brooke Harry).

Joseph Owen-Horn, Claudia Moon, Kaitlyn Bulmer, Lily Hindson, Genevieve McLindon, Jessica Nunan, Jaime Nunan, Claire Colturi, Renee Gould, Keeley Anderson, Sophie Peterson and Ella Goulding are part of the ensemble.

Back to the ’80s will be held at the Paramount from November 8-17.