Scholars say Shakespeare may have written his comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost in the 1580s, but Mount Saint Mary College’s upcoming presentation will bring viewers back to the good old days of the 1980s on November 8, 9, and 10.
The performances, one per night, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Aquinas Hall Theatre, 330 Powell Ave., Newburgh, N.Y. Admission is $5, or free with a Mount ID. Tickets are limited. For reservations, call the box office at 845-569-3273.
Tom Cruise took to the sky in Top Gun, the Nintendo Entertainment System was the cutting edge of video games, and Wang Chung’s “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” was one of the hottest songs around. The year was 1986 – the perfect era to serve as the backdrop of Love’s Labour’s Lost, says director James Phillips, associate professor of Theatre.
The production mixes the Bard’s original dialogue with famous ‘80s tracks like Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name,” infamous fashion trends, and iconic imagery from the middle of the decade.
“I have a theory that the ‘good old days’ are always roughly 30 years ago,” Phillips explained. “So right now, our good old days are in the ‘80s.”
It’s a theory that’s backed up by popular films of the 1980s, such as Back to the Future, Stand By Me, and Night of the Creeps, which were set in that era’s good old days of the 1950s.
Love’s Labour’s Lostoffers a humorous take on life, love, and the human condition, notes Phillips, much like the romantic comedies of the era. The play “feels like a John Hughes movie to me,” Phillips explained. “So it just seemed a natural fit to me. It can appeal to our audience because you don’t have to have grown up in the ‘80s to appreciate the good old days.”
The 17-member cast is one of the largest in recent Mount history, and they’ve surpassed Phillips’s expectations. It’s been a joy for him: Working with the dedicated students to create something special is one of the best aspects of his job, he said.
“This is what I enjoy doing the most,” Phillips explained. “These are the things that the students will remember when they’re looking back on this 30 years from now.”