The 1970s were a decade unlike any other, and gave birth to music unlike any other decade that came before. This Season, FST is celebrating that music in The ’70s: More Than a Decade.
Featuring such hits as “Joy to the World,” “Let it Be,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and more, audiences should get ready to get their groove on as we travel down memory lane together through music.
For the show’s Lead Developer, Rebecca Hopkins, the process of developing this new Cabaret was personal.
“Growing up in the 1970s, I thought I knew what the decade was about. But as I dug into the show research, I was reminded what a pivotal time it really was,” said Hopkins. “All the social movements of the ’60s continued well into ’70s, and you started to see their impact on our daily lives.”
Change was everywhere. The Vietnam War finally ended and the technology revolution was just starting to take off.
“It was the decade of Watergate and the breakdown of a lot of our trust in institutions,” added Hopkins. “But it was also a time for great innovation and creativity. Home computers, VCRs, mobile phones, and video games (for better or worse) all came on the scene during the ’70s. Music reflected the changing times.”
Suddenly, pop and rock & roll were no longer the only musical genres that dominated the charts. New forms like soul, R&B, and punk rock exploded onto the scene.
“The music of the ’70s was all about the release and escape from the negativity of the day and transforming it into joy,” said Brianna Barnes, who makes her FST debut with The ‘70s: More Than a Decade.
There was plenty happening that made people want to get away from it all. Inflation and disillusionment ran rampant. Toxic waste spilled out of Love Island Canal.
Gasoline became a valuable commodity. And that thirst for life, freedom, and independence paved the way for the genre that is most frequently associated with the 1970s: Disco.
“I also grew up in the 1970s, and my first memory of music is Disco,” said Director Catherine Randazzo. “Disco influenced my ‘going out clothes.’ The goal of shopping was to find platform shoes and clothes I could do ‘The Hustle’ in.”
In addition to Brianna Barnes, cast members Michael James Byrne, Jannie Jones, and Eddie Weaver bring the hit parade that was the 1970s to life onstage.
The ‘70s: More Than A Decade marks Jones’ 21st production at FST. She was most recently seen last season in the hit musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Past Cabaret credits include Guitar Girls and Blue Suede Shoes.
Though not everyone in the cast was alive during the ’70s, the music’s messages and spirit still resonate strongly.
“Art imitates life,” said Weaver. “These songs are how the artists were interpreting what was going on in their everyday lives. The music of this era was literally the voice of the people.”
The ’70s: More Than a Decade will begin playing October 5, 2022, in FST’s Court Cabaret. For tickets and more information, click here.
Header Image: Michael James Byrne, Brianna Barnes, Jannie Jones, and Eddie Weaver. Photo by John Jones.