Jamie Harden’s “Ultimate Oldies” show may have to take the name “Ultimate Eighties” for one weekend with the debut of its “Totally Awesome 80s Show,” Sept. 13-16 at the Manchester Arts Center.
“We wanted to try a totally different new show, separate from our 5os and 60s shows and our country shows. We wanted to branch out to a, maybe, younger audience to a whole new group into the arts center and our shows,” Harden said.
The show will have the same quality of music that is expected from the Oldies gang, but with an 80s twist.
The show, a full two hours of music, will span the gamut of 80s genres, from hairbands to movie themes and one-hit wonders. Expect to hear hits from Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Van Halen, Michael Jackson, Billy Idol, Madonna, Prince and Tom Petty.
“If it was in the 80s, we’re doing it. It’s totally different show with new lighting and stage effects,” Harden said.
“It’s going to be a little louder at times – it is going to be rock ’n’ roll. But it’s not all going to be face melting – there’s going to be a lot of good love ballads, too.”
Harden hinted that there will be some local special guests on stage, but is keeping the details secret.
Drawing on the theme, there will be best 80s costume and biggest hair contests for each show. There will also be 80s video games in the lobby and photo opportunities.
“We want people to come out dress up and have fun. People are welcome to sing along and dance,” he said.
Harden has incorporated 80s music in past shows, but this is the first full 80s show.
“I tested the waters, adding 80s tunes here and there. Then last September we did one that had a lot of 80s in it.”
The response was so good that Harden felt it was time to a totally 80s show.
“I’ve always wanted to do one, but I’ve just now gotten the personnel to pull it off at the quality that I want it to be.”
Harden hopes to add the show to the Ultimate Oldies annual show list. He said that he has booked one for next year in the surrounding area.
“It’s an opportunity for people who may not like our other shows to come out and hear us. We’re trying to grow and branch out to other ages.”
“Totally Awesome 80s Show” will be Sept. 13-16 at the Manchester Arts Center, 128 E. Main St. Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets are available at www.millenniumrep.org. for $20