If you grew up boogeying down to the music of the Me Decade, you’ll agree “Streakin’! Thru the 70s” is a far-out musical revue that’ll get your groove on and help you to party hearty.
“I think that anyone who lived through the ‘70s will absolutely love this show,” said James A. Rocco, who conceived it with collaborators Albert Evans and Heidi Karol Johnson. “I’ve actually seen audiences dancing in the aisles. Seriously. They just go nuts and have so much fun when they see it.”
The show will play 16 performances from Feb. 4-20 at the Mizner Park Cultural Center in Boca Raton. Ticket prices run $45, $55 and $65, depending on seat location, day and performance time.
“Streakin’” co-creator James Rocco is an award-winning director, writer and theatrical consultant whose work has been seen on Broadway, off-Broadway, throughout the United States, London, Paris and Tokyo.
Mr. Rocco said the show began in the early 2000s as a workshop and a six-week tryout at a small theater in Wichita, Kansas called Cabaret Old Town. That led to a five-month run and two return engagements before two Off-Broadway engagements and two enthusiastic receptions at the Orlando Fringe Festival, as well as other regional theaters.
“We had such affinity for all these songs we grew up on,” Mr. Rocco said. “So we decided to write a piece that started out as a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch and grew into an entire show that celebrates our memories of the 1970s.”
The revue’s plot is simple. Six people come together to indulge in their addiction to all things 1970s. Their aim is to bring back to life the highs and lows of this much maligned decade. The audience journeys with them on a kaleidoscopic flashback through game shows, sitcoms, disco, earth shoes, natural highs, pet rocks, lava lamps and the political unrest of that era. Featuring over 40 hit songs — including “I Will Survive,” “MacArthur Park,” “Lady Marmalade,” “Disco Inferno,” “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room,” “Have You Never Been Mellow,” “I Am Woman,” “You Light Up My Life,” “Everything Is Beautiful,” “I Love The Nightlife,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Convoy,” “Country Roads” and more, “Streakin’! Thru the 70s” is filled with enough music and comedy sketches to make your bell bottoms burst.
“We’ve mounted about 15 productions since we first created it,” Mr. Rocco said. “And now it’s really beginning to take off. There was even a recent production in New Zealand, which was really exciting for us.”
He added this show was specifically designed to blend comedy sketches with 70s tunes.
“We wrote it with the aim of making people laugh,” Mr. Rocco said. “We also wanted the music to sound authentic. We didn’t want to make fun of the music. We wanted to celebrate it. The music is what we love. So even though everything else is framed in a comic way — such as the concept that the cast is thrown into a self-help group that’s addicted to the 1970s — we wanted to make sure the music always sounded pristine and the way the audience remembered it. That’s why we use a five-piece pit band for the show. I honestly think the music is what has made the show so successful. You know, you can sum this decade up with a smiley face and that’s the kind of face we want to see on each audience member as they leave the theater.”
Mr. Rocco comes from an extensive background in show business. He is an award-winning director, writer and theatrical consultant whose work has been seen on Broadway, off-Broadway, throughout the United States, London, Paris and Tokyo. In 2013, he was recognized by the Broadway League and the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds for 25 years of dedication, craft and contribution to theater. As a performer, he appeared in the original Broadway production of “Cats” (as Rum Tum Tugger) and the international and TV Ashai productions of Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Ladies.” He also sang back up for Frank Sinatra and was a featured singer for Herbie Hancock and the Super Sounds. From 2005-2017, Mr. Rocco was the vice president of programming and producing artistic director at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minn., where he presented and booked touring Broadway shows and either produced or co-produced award-winning productions. All of those credits aside, he said “Streakin’! Thru the 70s” holds a very special place in his heart — and in the hearts of Baby Boomers everywhere.
“It’s been an amazing ride,” he said. “Boomers especially love it. They have a blast. I’ve seen it every time I work on this show. It’s fantastic.”
Mr. Rocco predicted audiences at the Mizner Park Cultural Center will love the show as much or more as past audiences have.
“Streakin’! Thru the 70s” combines comedy sketches with 70s music for an evening of nostalgic fun.