Sparta natives to lead pop music revival show


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Break out the Aquanet and slip into those bright-colored spandex, skinny ties and checkered Vans — Fast Forward 80s, the Tri-State Area’s premier 1980s tribute band, debuts its “End of Cruel Summer Flashdance 80s Revival” at the Cornerstone Playhouse on Friday, Sept. 1 at 8 p.m.

Allure Magazine named eighties music the hottest trend of 2017. And Fast Forward 80s always turns up the heat with a fun-packed Dance Party celebrating the biggest hits of this most awesome decade. With classic video footage and 80s-era sounds, Fast Forward 80s takes fans through a virtual Hot Tub Time Machine featuring favorites from Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston and more.

“Returning to Sparta with Fast Forward 80s is an especially meaningful homecoming for me,” says alto saxophonist and percussionist Ralph Capasso, a Sparta native and 1996 graduate of Sparta High. “It is an opportunity for me to play the soundtrack of my childhood for my friends, family and neighbors.” Capasso began his musical Odyssey at Sparta Alpine School more than 25 years ago. “Never in a million years would I have dreamed that I would still be playing.”

Every night, Fast Forward 80s dazzles its audiences with spot on recreations of some of pop music’s most memorable — and gloriously fun — confections. The infectious music, along with the band’s theatrics and glitzy neon 80s fashions, has lifted the spirits of audiences and earned the band rousing ovations from 80s fans across the Tri-state area.

“What I love about this show is that it really gives audiences a chance to drop their inhibitions and just have fun,” says bass player and singer Kerri Freda, who has been teaching history at Sussex Middle School since 2005. “Some of the most infectious, memorable hits were recorded in the 80s, and it is really fun for me as a musician to bring them back. I expect to catch up with a lot of old friends at the show who are huge 80s fans.

The “End of Cruel Summer Flashdance 80s Revival features tight choreography and dazzlingly bright period costumes. The eight-piece band showcases some of the biggest hits ever recorded by female artists, including Madonna, the GoGos, the Bangles, Pat Benetar and Joan Jett. The act also features a broad range of male numbers sung accomplished veterans of the New Jersey music scene and a five-star horn section led by Capasso.

The band has entertained at The 2017 New Jersey State Fair, Montclair Center Stage, Burlington County Summer Concert Series, The Middlesex County Fair, Westchester Country Club, shows for Bloomberg LP, Boston Properties, legendary venues such as BB Kings, PNC Art Center, The Stone Pony, The Trocadero, and the Boston Aquarium.

For more information, visit the Cornerstone Playhouse website, www.cornerstonetheatrenj.org.
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