The Gaslight Theatre’s new summer production, “Back to the Past,” just started last week. It is the 1980’s and teenager Mickey McFry ends up traveling back to the 1950s with the help of Professor Bunsen’s newest invention, a time-traveling car. If you have seen “Back to The Future” then there will be no big plot surprises, but going to the Gaslight Theatre is not about surprising plot twists. It is about seeing an original musical-comedy melodrama in an enjoyable dinner-theater setting.
I made sure to tell my husband on the way there that the Gaslight Theatre is the kind of place were you are supposed to boo and hiss the bad guys and cheer the good guys. If you have never been to this kind of theater, it can be a bit of a surprise at first, but it is fun to get into the spirit of it and boo and cheer along with the rest of the audience.
Jake Chapman brought considerable energy to the stage as Mickey McFry, the main character. I also thoroughly enjoyed Mike Yarema as Marti’s ultra-geeky father, Verne. In typical Gaslight Theatre fashion, most actors played their roles to the hilt, acting for maximum laughs. Maria Alburtus was hilarious as the school secretary who has always had a crush on “Buzz.”
The songs, mostly adaptations of hits from the 1950s, are a big part of the success of this production. I especially enjoyed Mike Yarema singing “Teenager in Love.” The original rap/song “Souped-up DeLorean” grew on me too and, by the last rendition, I was singing along.
Overall my husband and I had a fun evening watching an enjoyable live performance and eating a great meal, including my delicious vanilla flavored Pepsi. Do you know how long it had been since I had a flavored soda? Way too long! I look forward to attending again soon and plan to take along my 4-year-old daughter next time if the story is a good fit for her age. I know she is going to love it!
“Back to the Past” is running now through August 26th at The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. See Tucsontopia’s original post on this event for times, ticket prices, and complete details.
If you go: Tell a server if you have a birthday, anniversary, or out-of-town guest in your party to receive a free ice cream cone at the end of the show!