Awesome tips for reviving a totally '80s weekend

August 04, 2005|By Sam Sessa | Sam Sessa,SUN STAFF

Oh, the '80s.

Madonna. Mix tapes. Top Gun. Shoulder pads. Big hair. Ferris Bueller. Prince and The Revolution (pre-weird symbol). The DeLorean. Smurfs.

If you were too young or too dweeby to take it to the max back then, some small part of you wishes you could turn back time and find a way to relive that decadent decade. This is your ticket.

From food and clothes to cartoons and concerts, this is the recipe for an everything-'80s weekend. Take these tips straight-up or put your own spin on them -- just don't get too wrapped up.

"We can't actually become the '80s," said TV personality Mo Rocca, who appeared on VH1's I Love the 80s and I Love the 80s Strikes Back. "We have to maintain some sort of distance so that we can actually believe that we live in a better world."


If you're trendy enough, you might have some fixings for an '80s outfit. If not, scurry over to your local thrift store or Goodwill. Packrat parents, reach deep into your closet and slip those vintage duds off their hangers. (No more wire hangers!)


1) Preppy rich girl: Izod polo shirt (fluorescent pink or green), white tennis miniskirt, white Keds, big plastic watch that matches the shirt, diamond stud earrings, big hair, visor, lots of "natural-looking" makeup (major peach blush and lipstick, mascara, clear nail polish).

2) Flashdance wannabe: bodysuit or leotard, off-the-shoulder sweat shirt with the neck cut off, tights or leggings, legwarmers, high-heeled pumps or Keds (depending on your age), big gold jewelry, headband and wristbands, lots of tropical-colored makeup (coral lipstick, green eyeshadow), big hair.

3) Acid rocker chick: acid-washed miniskirt or tapered jeans with lacing down the legs or bows at the ankles, Def Leppard T-shirt (oversized and ripped up, gathered in a bunch over one hip), black leather accessories (fringed handbag, wrist cuffs, dog collar), black pumps or slouchy boots, lots of harsh makeup (too-pale face powder, blood-red lipstick, black eyeliner), major dark roots showing on bleach-blond permed fe-mullet, long red fingernails, untweezed eyebrows


1) Prep: Izod polo shirt (collar preferably popped), tucked into light blue jeans (no belt), white high top sneakers. Hair cut above the ears and combed. If you have chest hair, shave it. (Think Emilio Estevez from The Breakfast Club.)

2) Rebel/social outcast: black leather-studded or jean jacket, jeans, plain white T-shirt, black sneakers, spiked and/or dyed hair (mullet optional), left or both ears pierced

3) Nerd: Nobody wants to be the nerd -- especially an '80s nerd. Remember Michael Anthony Hall from The Breakfast Club? Totally barf!


Get these edibles for a major '80s menu:

Breakfast: Eggo waffles, Nutri-Grain bars, Nut-N-Honey cereal

Lunch: Lunchables, Diet or Cherry Coke, Extra Sugarfree gum

Dinner: Microwaveable TV dinners


This is what the '80s were all about. Make a mix tape, stick it in your Walkman, walk down to the video store and rent these DVDs of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons: GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (but not the movie -- it came out in 1990), My Little Pony, Transformers and Transformers: The Movie, The Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears and the Care Bears Movie. Also, see whether these '80s staples are on the video-store shelves: Sixteen Candles (or anything John Hughes), Purple Rain, Die Hard or Spinal Tap.

There's nothing wrong with being a couch potato and playing Nintendo or Sega all day, but why sit inside when you could play some of the most wicked '80s video games in an arcade?

Crabtowne USA at 1500 Crain Highway in Glen Burnie has about 125 arcade games and pinball machines from the '80s and early '90s. We're talking classics like Super Mario Bros., Centipede, Pac-man, Demolition Derby and Golden Axe and Operation Wolf .

Most of the games still cost a quarter per play, which beats the heck out of the $1 you spend in five minutes in newer arcades. Here's the best part: You can buy beer in the diner adjacent to the arcade room and drink it while gaming. And everybody knows that beer + '80s arcade games = awesome! (Crabtowne USA is open from 9 a.m. to midnight daily. Call 410-761-6118.)

August '80s concerts

Pat Benatar rocks Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place in Power Plant Live, at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Tickets are $40 in advance and $44 the day of the show. Call 410-244-1131, or visit

Devo plays the 9:30 Club Aug. 13-14. Tickets are $55, call 202-393-0930 or visit Whip it!

Motley Crue plays the Nissan Pavilion, 7800 Cellar Door Drive in Bristow, Va., at 6 p.m. Aug. 13. Call 703-754-6400 or visit

Rick Springfield plays Rams Head Live at 8 p.m. Aug. 20. Tickets are $38.50.

Huey Lewis and the News plays Wolf Trap's Filene Center, 1645 Trap Road in Vienna, Va., at 8 p.m. Aug. 21. Tickets are $33, lawn; $38, in-house. Call 703-255-1868 or visit www.wolf

Cheap Trick and Alice Cooper play Wolf Trap's Filene Center at 7 p.m. Aug. 25. Tickets are $25, lawn; $42, in-house.

Air Supply plays Rams Head Live at 6 p.m. Aug. 28. Tickets are $22.50 in advance and $25 the day of the show.

'80s on stage

Bring your best '80s prom dress or tux to the Awesome '80s Prom at the Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., at 8 p.m. Sept. 27-Oct. 19. The interactive performance is one huge party with classic characters (football captain, nerd, cheerleader, etc.) vying for prom king and queen. Tickets are $37.50-$70. Call 410-547-7328 or visit www.awesome80sprom. com.

Prove you were there

Submit some rad photos of yourself and your friends from the tubular '80s at www.

Sun staff writers Kate Campbell and Erika Kritt contributed to this article.

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