Coginchaug Music Department Spreads Nostalgia by Bringing Back the ’80s

The Coginchaug music department drew crowds of people with their production of “Back to the 80s” from April 5-7. The somewhat cliché plot was woven together by classic ‘80s hits and references that gave the crowd, many of whom grew up in the ‘80s, a sense of nostalgia.

The story follows Corey Palmer, Jr. who is portrayed as both an adult (played by sophomore Pierce Stephan) and as a high school senior (played by senior Alexander Stephan). Palmer is looking back at his senior year in high school, during which he is one of the unpopular, nerdy kids who is obsessed with Star Wars and has trouble with girls. He’s in love with Tiffany Houston (played by senior Sarina McCoy) who, aside from being the head cheerleader, is the prettiest, most popular girl in school. Like many ‘80s story lines, however, she likes Michael Fender, the star football player (played by sophomore Dylan Sartor).

In classic ‘80s fashion, Corey ends up with the girl, leaving the popular guy knocked down a peg. But the plotline isn’t what makes this story great; it’s the actors’ ability to develop their characters and captivate the audience through classic songs and references.

“This show has been the best show I’ve done at Coginchaug,” said senior Sarah Locascio, who played cheerleader, and Tiffany’s best friend, Cyndi Gibson. Leading seniors McCoy, Stephan and Locascio, who’ve all been a part of the school productions throughout high school, all agreed that they’d never seen an audience so involved and enthralled by a Coginchaug production.

“A lot of the stuff going on on-stage is reminding the audience of when they were our age, so it’s fun for the audience to think, ‘That was me when I was in high school,’” said Stephan. “I grew up listening to all this music, so I love singing it.”

Through weeks of rehearsals, hours spent doing hair and makeup, and four successful shows, the hard work and dedication of the entire cast and crew showed through their performance.

“My favorite part has been coming to rehearsal every night because it gives you something to look forward to,” said Locascio.

McCoy adds, “Even if I had a bad day at school, I would still look forward to rehearsal that night, and I would love it.”

Even if you didn’t grow up in the ‘80s, or didn’t catch all the references, the feel-good story line combined with classic throwbacks, it’s likely that you left entertained and maybe even singing some of the songs.