Conscious Party: Totally Rad ’80s Dance Party

THE WONDER YEARS: On July 14 at the Attic Salt Theatre Art Space, music, fashion and other beloved components from the 1980s will be in full effect during the Totally Rad ‘80s Dance Party. Attic Salt Executive Director Marci Bernstein (prom photo) and Artistic Director Jeff Catanese (school portrait) will don their retro best for the fundraiser. Image courtesy of Attic Salt Theatre Company

WHAT: A dance party to benefit Attic Salt Theatre Company

WHEN: Saturday, July 14, 7-11 p.m.

WHERE: Attic Salt Theatre Arts Space, 2002 Riverside Drive, Studio 42-O

WHY: In devising a fundraiser for Attic Salt Theatre Company, the nonprofit’s board of directors thought a dance party would be a great idea, and gravitated to the music, fashion and attitude of the 1980s.

“But if I’m being completely honest, it’s just the decade we hold closest in our hearts,” says Artistic Director Jeff Catanese.

Marci Bernstein, Attic Salt executive director, concurs: “Jeff and I were both kids of the ’80s, so really, it was a bit of an obvious choice for us. We’re hosting a cabaret of music from the ’50s to the ’70s later in the month at Attic Salt, so we kind of piggybacked off of that, and now July is the month of traveling the decades.”

The Totally Rad ’80s Dance Party takes place Saturday, July 14, at the Attic Salt Theatre Arts Space. All of the night’s eclectic musical selections will be danceable and from the featured decade, and Bernstein says most of the playlist is coming right from the organizers’ “old, romantic mixtapes,” which she’s proudly held on to.

“I’m looking forward to dancing to some of the more new wave, fast stuff,” Catanese says. “You can still hear some of the ’80s dance music at various functions, but you don’t often get to pogo to some Billy Idol or The Cars anymore. ‘Dancing with Myself’ is my jam.”

Bernstein adds, “I love a good excuse to break out those old tunes. I know everyone is looking forward to Madonna and Michael Jackson, but we’ve got a little Berlin and Erasure thrown in there as well.”

Eighties fashion and accessories will also be in full effect. Catanese rues not being able to find his old Members Only jacket but hopes to see “if a few people can drum up some acid-washed jeans, headbands and some of the T-shirt symbols from back in the day.” Meanwhile, Bernstein notes that her hair “has never looked better than when banana clips and crimping irons were popular.”

Additional on-site offerings include a cash bar, an ’80s makeup station and the opportunity to have a professional yearbook or prom picture. A special Radical VIP package provides all of the above and more at a discounted price.

“All of the proceeds from the evening will go directly toward enabling Attic Salt’s programming: From paying the teachers who run our classes for kids of all ages a living wage, to the space and talent needed to produce our fall and winter productions,” Bernstein says.

The Totally Rad ’80s Dance Party takes place Saturday, July 14, 7-11 p.m., at Attic Salt Theatre Arts Space, 2002 Riverside Drive, Studio 42-O. $15 advance/$20 day of show/$30 Radical VIP.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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