By Karen Graham
Get ready for a flashback of leg warmers, acid wash jeans, shoulder pads, big hair as students at Belmont Ridge Middle Schools sing along to songs from Journey and Michael Jackson during the school’s Back to the ‘80s summer musical Aug 22 - 24.
With songs such as "Man in the Mirror" and "Footloose", the audience – the parents at least – will "walk in knowing every song," said director Jason Augustowski.
"If you listened to the radio in the 80s, then you will know this show," he said.
The cast and crew include more than 80 sixth- to tenth-graders, who have been working since June to perfect the singing and choreography, which seems to have come easily for some.
"This show has been effortless," Augustowski said. "Everyone is prepared and it is coming together well."
With about 20 leads in the show, "it gives so many kids an opportunity to shine," said co-producer Valerie Irons.
"There are fun dance moves with difficult choreography that the kids pulled together very well in a short period of time," she said.
The students have enjoyed working on the show, even though it has taken time away from their summer vacation.
Abby Irons, who plays Miss Brannigan, said "everyone has put in the effort and the show is coming together really well." She especially likes performing the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart," which she "has always loved".
Kyle Broderick, who plays Feargal McFerrin, said participating is fun a great way to meet new people.
"Mr. A is just amazing,” Broderick said, referring to Augustowski. “He has great energy and is always jumping around and making jokes. He makes it fun."
Back to the ‘80s marks River Hawks Productions' second musical of the year. In the spring, it produced "Beauty and the Beast." Next spring, the group plans to put produce Shrek.
Back to the ‘80s runs at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 to Aug. 24 with an additional performance at 2 p.m. Aug 24. All performances are at Belmont Ridge Middle School, 19045 Upper Belmont Place, in Lansdowne. Tickets cost $8 per person and can be purchased at the door or online at http://lcps.org/bmrms.