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Revised Orchestrations and Arrangements by
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the following credit line exactly as listed for each of the following compositions:
Baby One More Time (Martin Sandberg), Use is by permission of Zomba Music Publishing, Ltd. (PRS). All rights for the U.S. obo Zomba Music Publishing, Ltd (PRS) administered by Zomba Enterprises, Inc. (ASCAP)

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (George Michael) ©1984 Wham Music Ltd. All rights on behalf of Wham Music Ltd. Administered by Chappell & Co (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Kids In America (Reginald Smith / Ricky Smith), Used by permission of Music & Media International, Inc. obo Finchley Music Corporation

Girls Just Want To Have Fun (R Hazard), Used by permission of Sony / ATV Music Publishing LLC

Footloose (Kenny Loggins d/b/a Milk Money Music / Dean Pitchford), ©1984 Milk Money Music/Famous Music/Ensign Music. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

Mickey (Mickey Champman / Nicky Chinn), Use is by permission of BMG Songs, Inc. (ASCAP)

Michael's Election Rap (Neil Gooding / Steven Facey), Administered by Neil Gooding Productions Pty Ltd

Video Killed The Radio Star (Geoff Downes / Trevor Horn / Bruce Wooley), Used by permission of Carbert Music Inc & Universal-Island Music Ltd. Administered by Universal-Polygram International Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP)

The Greatest American Hero Theme (Michael Post / Stephen G Geyer), Used by permission of EMI April Music Inc. / EMI Blackwood Music Inc & Stephen Cannell Music.

Let's Hear It For The Boy (Dean Pitchford & Tom Snow) Ensign Music ("BMI"). Used by Permission - All Rights Reserved

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) (Charles Reid / Craig Reid) © 1988 Warner Bros. Music Ltd (PRS). All rights on behalf of Warner Bros. Music Ltd administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) All rights reserved. Used by permission.

You Give Love A Bad Name (Desmond Child / Jon Bon Jovi / Richard S Sambora), Used by permission of EMI April Music Inc & Universal-Polygram International Publishing, Inc. obo itself, Bon Jovi Publishing (ASCAP) and Sony / ATV Music Publishing LLC

Man In The Mirror (Glen Ballard / Siedah Garrett), Used by permission of Universal Music Corp. on behalf of itself and Aerostation Corp. (ASCAP) & © 1987 Yellowbrick Road Music (ASCAP), MCA Music Publishing, a division of MCA Inc (ASCAP). All rights on behalf of Yellowbrick Road Music (ASCAP) administered by WB Music Corp (ASCAP). All rights reserved.

Nothing's Going To Stop Us Now (Diane Warren / Albert Hammond), Use is by permission of Edition Sunset Publishing, Inc. (ASCAP), Realsongs & Music Of Windswept obo Albert Hammond Music. All rights for the U.S. obo Edition Sunset Publishing, Inc (ASCAP) administered by BMG Songs, Inc.

Love Shack (Kate Pierson / Fred Schneider / Keith Strickland / Cindy Wilson) Used by permission of EMI Blackwood Music Inc and EMI April Music Inc. - EMI Music Inc.

Total Eclipse Of The Heart (James Steinman), Used by permission of Edward B. Marks Music Company

Walking On Sunshine (Kimberley Rew), Used by permission of Screen Gems - EMI Music Inc.

Get Out Of My Dreams (Get Into My Car) (Billy Ocean / Robert John Lange), Use is by permission of Zomba Music Publishing, Ltd. (PRS). All rights for the U.S. obo Zomba Music Publishing, Ltd (PRS) administered by Zomba Enterprises, Inc. (ASCAP)

Centerfold (S. Justman), Used by permission of Bug Music, Inc & Pal-Park Music administered by Almo Music Corp. (ASCAP)

Lost In Your Eyes (Deborah Gibson), Used by permission of Music Sales Corporation (ASCAP). International Copyright Secured. All Rights Reserved

Don't Worry Be Happy (Robert McFerrin Jnr), Used by permission of Probnoblem Music.

Come On Eileen (K Adams / J Paterson / K Rowland)

Never Gonna Give You Up (Stock / Aitken / Waterman), Used by permission of Peter Waterman Ltd, Sony / ATV Music Publishing LLC & Universal-Songs of Polygram Int., Inc., on behalf of Sids Songs Ltd. (BMI)

Material Girl (Peter S Brown / Robert S Rans) Used by permission of EMI Blackwood Music Inc.- EMI Music Inc.

(I've Had) The Time Of My Life (Donald Markowitz / Jon De Nicola / Frankie Previte), Used by permission of EMI April Music Inc., Sony / ATV Music Publishing LLC, Knockout Music (ASCAP), R.U. Cyrius Publishing (ASCAP), Donald J. Music, Jemava Music Corp.

The Fight Scene (Neil Gooding / Brett Foster), Administered by Neil Gooding Productions Pty Ltd
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.
Back to the 80's

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included

Production Resources



Join the class of 1985 as they experience the fun and heartbreak of growing up in a totally awesome decade.
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

Act One

A Radio Announcer in the year 2000 introduces us to a throwback hit from 15 years earlier ("Wake Me Up Before You Go Go"). We are transported back to the 80's and the first day of senior year ("Kids in America"). Corey Sr. steps in to narrate as candidates for class president are announced. Corey Jr. is pitted against the popular Michael Feldman and the geeky Feargal McFerrin III. After class, Corey Jr. tries to flirt with Tiffany, the most popular girl in school, but her sights are set on Michael. Clique queen Cyndi steals Tiffany away to hang out with the girls in a rockin' dance ("Girls Just Want To Have Fun") countered by the boys cutting loose about how rad senior year is going to be ("We Built This City").

After school. Corey Jr. attempts to flirt with Tiffany, then unveils his plan for winning the election: a benefit concert to raise money for Prom. Feargal makes some shockingly accurate predictions about the future and Michael finds a way to steal Corey's proposal, leaving Corey Jr. and his friends high and dry.

Election Day. The seniors are gathered for assembly as the candidates give their speeches. Michael blows everyone away with his awesome presentation, backed by the school's popular elite ("Mickey"), then reveals Corey's idea for a concert as his own ("Michael's Election Rap"). To his horror, Corey Jr. realizes that Michael has stolen his proposal. With nothing left to say, Corey Jr. crashes and burns during his speech. Feargal makes a valiant effort to reach his audience, but is laughed offstage ("Video Killed the Radio Star"). The votes are cast and Michael is announced as Class President with Tiffany reigning as Vice President, by his side.

Corey Sr. brings us back to Corey Jr.'s bedroom where Corey Jr. is hanging out with his friends Kirk and Alf. The boys wonder about the possibility of a future world without baseball or Atari. Corey Jr. confesses that, at night, he dreams he's Luke Skywalker. They guys tease him and head out. After they're gone, Corey Jr. reveals that he also dreams that Tiffany is his Princess Leia. He sings to Tiffany's picture, then enters a dream sequence dressed as a Jedi and dances with Tiffany ("Believe It or Not"). Michael enters the dream sequence, cuts off Corey Jr.'s hand with a light saber and steals Tiffany away. Back in his room, Corey Jr. wakes up in a panic.

Corey Sr. narrates as Eileen, a new student, is introduced to the class. The popular kids tease Eileen, but Corey Jr. tries to make her feel at home. Michael has become so busy with football that he's forgotten all about the Prom benefit concert. Corey Jr. decides to put it on himself and enlists the support of his teacher, Mr. Cocker. In the back of the classroom, two nerdy girls, Debbie and Laura brag to Eileen about their boyfriends, even though they're made up ("Morning Train (9 to 5)"). After the bell rings, Mr. Cocker's girlfriend, the conservative English teacher Miss Brannigan, comes in to make a date for the weekend.

The schoolyard. Corey Sr. narrates as the lunchtime scene unfolds. Corey Jr. finally decides to tell Tiffany how he feels about her. He and Michael both approach Tiffany and battle for her attentions in an all-out song duel with "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)." Tiffany reveals that she only thinks of Corey like a brother and leaves on Michael's arm. Remembering the past, Corey Sr. relives the hurt ("You Give Love a Bad Name").

Michael and his friends slip a love note from a secret admirer into Eileen's locker. After confiscating a risque swimsuit magazine from a student, Mr. Cocker is shocked to find pictures of a scantily clad Miss Brannigan inside. As Eileen and her friends discover the note in her locker, Mr. Cocker confronts Miss Brannigan about her past and accuses her of lying to him ("You Give Love a Bad Name - Reprise").

During assembly, Mr. Cocker and Miss Brannigan overcome the tension between them long enough to announce rehearsals for Corey Jr.'s upcoming benefit concert. They encourage the students to lend a hand ("Man in the Mirror"). The students begin to join in as the theater is transformed for the benefit concert.

Act Two

On stage at the concert, the student are dressed up as their favorite 80's idols and pop stars. Arm in arm, they sing the final number ("Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now").

Feeling cool and with his parents out of town, Corey Jr. decides to throw a party at his house after the concert. The guests arrive and party to the max. Outside the party, Mr. Cocker tells Miss Brannigan that he's leaving her ("Love Shack").

As Corey Jr. cleans up after the party, he sees Michael kissing Tiffany. His heart broken, he spies a similarly crushed Miss Brannigan. They commiserate over their loveless states ("Total Eclipse of the Heart").

Back at school, Michael and his friends continue to fill Eileen's locker with fake love letters. Determined to make the most of his senior year, Feargal takes up martial arts with the school's groundskeeper, Mr. Miyagi.

As prom nears, Michael sends a note to Eileen and actually signs his name. When they discover it, Eileen and her friends go crazy with excitement ("Walking on Sunshine").

Over the weekend, Corey Jr. sees Tiffany hanging out with her popular friends and decides to take another chance on her. Michael drives up in his super cool car and interrupts. The scene erupts in a gratuitous dance number as the girls face the guys in "Get Outta My Dreams (Get Into My Car)." Tiffany and Michael drive off, leaving Corey Jr. alone on his 10-speed.

Back at school, Miss Brannigan begs Mr. Cocker to give her another chance. Unable to put Miss Brannigan's magazine days out of his mind, Mr. Cocker descends into temporary madness as his classroom is transformed into another dream sequence ("Centerfold").

Playing both sides, Michael continues to send Eileen loves notes as he woos Tiffany in person. The girls are completely in love with Michael and sing a duet from separate parts of the stage ("Lost In Your Eyes").

Tension is high as the seniors get closer and closer to Prom night. Billy, one of Michael's sidekicks, makes a futile attempt to impress Cyndi and ask her to Prom ("Never Gonna Give You Up"). Cyndi's friends can't believe she turned Billy down, but Cyndi explains that no guy is worth getting unless he's rich ("Material Girl").

Michael reveals his plan to ask Eileen to Prom and then stand her up. As he puts another note in her locker, he's caught in the act. Eileen's friends tell everyone that Michael is secretly in love with Eileen and show them the new note. Michael tells Eileen that the love notes were a joke and she runs away in tears. Tiffany witnesses the whole thing and breaks up with Michael in front of everyone. Feargal demands that Michael apologize to Eileen and, when he won't, uses his newly acquired martial arts skills to beat Michael up.

In the schoolyard, Corey Jr. tries to comfort a devastated Eileen. Kirk and Alf join them and reveal that Feargal defended Eileen's honor by beating up Michael. The guys cheer Eileen up and remind her that most people at school think she's great ("Don't Worry, Be Happy / Come On Eileen"). Tiffany overhears and tells Corey Jr. he's sweet, prompting him to ask to her to Prom one last time. She finally says yes!

Corey Sr. narrates as the Prom unfolds onstage ("Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Reprise"). Everyone is dancing except Michael, who all the girls ignore. Corey Jr. and Tiffany meet in the middle of the dance floor as couples pair up around them. Eileen and Feargal and a reunited Miss Brannigan and Mr. Cocker release their emotions in "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." Corey Sr. steps into the action as the Prom freezes around him. Corey Sr. tells the audience what happens to everyone after they leave high school, then sets the action back into motion as the senior class erupts into a final number ("Back to the 80's Megamix!").

← Back to Back to the 80's
Cast Size: Large (21 or more performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Corey Palmer (senior)
The narrator of the show. He is the older version of Corey, now living in the year 2000 and reminiscing about his high school days in the 1980s.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 30
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: G3
Corey Palmer (junior)
The hero of the musical. He is an ordinary, likeable senior in high school that is dealing with typical issues including his love for Tiffany Houston.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Alf Bueller
One of Corey Junior's best friends. A likeable teenager just coming out of childhood and beginning adulthood.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: Bb4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Kirk Keaton
One of the "nice" boys who is naive and has difficulty with girls.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Tiffany Houston
A cute, bubbly teenager from the 80's, who is innocent, naïve and doe-eyed about boys and love.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Cyndi Gibson
A street-smart, boy-wary member of Tiffany's posse who has a crush on Michael but always settles for other boys.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Mel Easton
One of the elite "Cool Girls," she is the twin sister of Kim who loves to rock out as a backup to the group.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Kim Easton
The twin sister of Mel and friend of Cyndi. Kim is a party-loving cheerleader who does not do well in school.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Michael Feldman
The coolest guy in the school who has the attention of all the girls. When the girls are not around, he is a mean manipulative oaf who picks on smaller kids.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Billy Arnold
A popular, athletic guy who appears tough and is revered yet has little backbone without Michael.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: A3
Lionel Astley
He is a follower and not quite as cool as the other guys in his posse, but is tolerated by the girls.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Huey Jackson
The final guy to round out the group of Michael Feldman's friends. Not much else to be said - big hair, wears clothes that were cool at the time, but now just look like fluorescent mismatches of colour. Huey is an 80's tragic - he is the only member of the cool group to go as far as wearing a white Michael Jackson glove - as was the fashion of the day!
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Feargal Mcferrin
The sensitive school nerd. He is supremely intelligent, but his visions of life in the new millenium are always mocked.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Eileen Reagan
The new arrival, charming and full of life and vitality. She is a dreamer who longs for the day when she has a boyfriend.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Laura Wilde
Debbie's best friend. She is awkward and has trouble with boys, but is a nice girl.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Debbie Fox
Laura's competitive best friend. She lies about her fantasy relationships with celebrities.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Ms. Sheena Brannigan
An outwardly reserved and slightly conservative Senior Students Coordinator who has a wild past.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Mr. Stevie Cocker
The Deputy Principal and math teacher at William Ocean High School who has strong feelings for Sheena.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Boys; Girls; Backup Vocalists

Show History


Back To The 80's was inspired by the music, fashion, behavior and trends of the 1980s.


Back To The 80's is a jukebox musical featuring pop songs from the 1980s. Written by Neil Gooding with the original musical adaption made by Scott Copeman, it was later re-orchestrated and arranged by Brett Foster in 2003, just prior to the Australian premiere, which was originally staged by Neil Gooding Productions Pty Ltd in Sydney, Australia in 2004. It is an extremely popular show for among school and community groups.


  • Back To The 80's contains one song that was actually not released in the 1980s. Though it is most frequently associated with that decade Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles was actually recorded and released in 1979.

Critical Reaction

"This is a 'feel-good' musical play for any audience. Whether you lived through the 80's as an adult, grew up in the decade or were born since, you will be chuckling in your seat in the happy, nostalgic mood that the songs and fashions of the 80s seem to carry with them& the 80's most popular music, and characters that are vehicles for the laugh-out-loud mannerisms, behaviors and fashions." - Australian Stage

"An affectionate homage to the films, fashions and fads of the decade." - Canberra Times

"Powerful musical numbers& a satisfying, feel-good musical." - Post-Gazette

"Absolutely amazing, and a must see." - Pueblo Arts