90 Miles Theatre Company will go “Back to the ’80s” at their upcoming cabaret

Some of the cast members from 90 Miles Theatre Company’s upcoming “Back to the ‘80s,” cabaret: Joe De Angelo, Lisa Delucca-Dudman, Brie Friedrich, Leslie Harris, Gilbert Hannah Irwin, Phil Jones, Maria LoCastro, Ian McAllister. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

In the 1985 film, Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox’s character, Marty McFly, travelled through time back to the ‘50s in a souped-up DeLorean converted into a time machine. But no such device will be necessary for modern-day Hudson Valley-ites who wish to go back to the ‘80s for a night: all one needs is a ticket to the 90 Miles Theatre Company’s next themed cabaret, “Back to the ‘80s,” on Saturday, March 30 at Boughton Place, 150 Kisor Road in Highland. 

The cabaret will feature two performances: the first at 5 p.m. followed by an 8 p.m. show (with the same acts). Doing two shows accommodates audiences who like to have dinner after seeing a show as well as those who prefer eating out first, according to 90 Miles board vice-president, Maria LoCastro. A longtime member of the theater company, LoCastro will join a dozen or so other performers to bring the spirit of the 1980s into the 21st century through song and costume. Her medley of Pat Benatar tunes and The Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men” will be just two of the renditions delivered by performers singing iconic material from The Go Go’s, The Bangles, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Bonnie Tyler, Dead or Alive and more.

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Tickets cost $20, available online in advance using the link on the company’s website at https://www.90milestheatercompanyinc.com/. Cash at the door will be accepted, too, but attendees run the risk of the show having sold out in advance online.

Some of the performers will be familiar to audiences from past 90 Miles productions while others are new to the company. “We’re always trying to recruit new talent, and we have some wonderful new people who have joined us,” says LoCastro.

The 90 Miles Theatre Company, Inc. is officially just two years old. But its pedigree goes back much farther, because the group is actually the reinvented “90 Miles Off Broadway” community theater company that operated in New Paltz for some 52 years (named for the distance New Paltz is located from Broadway). With the retirement of the original company’s manager a few years back and the lack of a permanent home, it looked like the group might have to call it a day until a dedicated group of company stalwarts formed the new company. 

Led by board president Philip Corso, the 90 Miles Theatre Company is going strong, according to LoCastro. “We’re doing well. We’re always trying to expand, and are exploring other venues to do shows. We also want to do things for the community and provide entertainment for people who can’t get out easily, like in nursing homes.”

The theater company currently uses the stage at Highland High School for musicals and hosts a series of themed cabarets and smaller shows on the historic Moreno Stage at Boughton Place. Built at the Moreno Institute in Beacon in 1936 to facilitate the practice of psychodrama, the stage was eventually dismantled and reassembled at Boughton Place, where it offers an intimate environment with stellar acoustics.

“It’s an interesting place to have a show,” says LoCastro. “It’s intimate, but has just enough pizzazz to add to the ambiance of our shows. Musicals are so big; you really need a large stage and room for all the props, but with cabaret it’s all about the singers. And people have been enjoying our cabarets so much, we plan to continue doing as many as we can.” 

The next cabaret in the series this year will be a children’s themed show, “Pure Imagination: A Cabaret of Childhood Favorites” with performances at 2 and 8 p.m. on April 27. The “Gender Bender Cabaret: Celebrating Gay Pride Month” cabaret will be held June 29 with shows at 5 and 8 p.m. And August 10 will bring a country and western-themed show.

Check out the 90 Miles Theatre Company website for future offerings: the next big musical will be “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” The show will be performed at Highland High School October 17-20. For more information, visit https://www.90milestheatercompanyinc.com/. To audition for future shows, send an e-mail to 90milesny@gmail.com.

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