Gothamist loves, loves, loves the Eighties. What's not to love about an era of big hair and Duran Duran? We watch cable reruns of Sixteen Candles and Valley Girl with glee, so it was a no-brainer to check out the Awesome 80s Prom, currrently going on downtown at Webster Hall.
The ticketing area made us smile - era-appropriate pin ups from Tiger Beat and Sixteen Magazine decked the walls. We ourselves wasted so much allowance money on this stuff. Walking in to the main room at Webster Hall, we found a streamer and balloon laden replica of a prom in a high school gym with 80s music blairing. This is supposed to be prom night for the Class of '89 at Wanaget High.
The show runs on an interactive concept: Stock characters from 80s movies mingle with the audience, and then participate in a contest for King and Queen of the Prom, which is voted on by audience members. You know all these characters, as they've basically been lifted from every great 80s flick, from Breakfast Club to Revenge of the Nerds. Oh look, there's the Asian exchange student. And there's the Swedish one, with her long blond braids. There's Bender from Breakfast Club. There's Ducky from Pretty In Pink. There's the goofy prom organizer/teacher from Valley Girl. There are some Heathers types and some perky cheerleaders who dance to Toni Basil's Mickey. And so on. The audience dances to Culture Club, Journey, Huey Lewis, and so forth and every few songs one of these stock characters gets on stage to compete.
Gothamist knew after the first ten minutes that this premise required many, many drinks. The music sounded great and we love dancing to these tunes, but the premise grated on us quickly. So we were off to the bar, which made the proceedings much more bearable.
We suspect that the younger you are and the more friends you bring to get drunk with, the more you'll enjoy the Awesome 80s Prom. For those of us who went through it the first time around, it was a pleasant enough trip down memory lane, but not a very substantial evening's entertainment.