MADISON — It must be, like, totally ’80s on Aug. 2 and 3, when the Madison Beach Club presents “Flashdance Follies” — the theme for its 82nd annual song-and-dance review.
“The 1980’s will forever be defined by MTV,” says Follies Music Director Matt Harrison. “The 24/7 music videos brought pop music — as well as the look and the culture — into to everyone’s living room.”
“And that’s the point,” agrees Follies Chairman Jennifer-Wenderoth-Holster. “For this year’s Follies, the audience will know these songs, so we expect a rowdy sing-along.” So be prepared to sing out “Billy Jean,” “Eye of the Tiger” and Toto’s “Africa,” among other ’80s classics.
But just so the audience doesn’t run away with the show, choreographer Tiffany Wilson is putting the cast through the ’80s dance paces, to the beat of the era’s rock and techno-pop. Clearly Harrison, Wilson and Holster had to research the time period, since none of the show’s creators was even born when “Flashdance” dominated the box office.
“We will definitely pay homage to the decade that not only brought us big hair, it was also the decade Izod shirts and Topsider boat shoes went mainstream. Who knew the Beach Club was already decades ahead of that fashion curve?” jokes Harrison.
Fourth generation Beach Club member Teddy Crowther, 14, is getting his first taste of the enduring Follies tradition.
“The theme is really cool this year, and I know the audience is going to like it, “ he says.
But like most of the 42 cast members, he knows that the weeks of rehearsal leading up to the big show – that’s what the Follies is all about: “Just hanging out with the cast, that’s what I’ll remember most,” adds Crowther.
And like all 83 Follies performances have gone before this one, Beach Club’s kick line tradition lives on. This year the casts will be high stepping — not to a Broadway tune — but to the beat of Journey’s “Don't Stop Believing.”
Try seeing that on your MTV.
The Follies is open to the public on Friday August 2 at 7:30 p.m., at the Madison Beach Club 128 Island Ave. Tickets can be purchased at the club front desk in advance or in the hours before the show. A portion of the proceeds goes to local charities via The Madison Foundation.