Reel in the years at Lyric’s ‘Decades Rewind’

Friday, November 4, 2016

St. Lucie Voice, Nov. 4, 2016
By Shelley Koppel
Staff writer

If you love the music of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, prepare to rock out with Decades Rewind at Stuart’s Lyric Theatre Nov. 16-17.

Decades Rewind gets its name from the fact that the show starts at the 1980s and works its way backwards. Along the way, you’ll hear music from Abba to Led Zeppelin, from Cyndi to Chicago, from Madonna to Marvin Gaye.

The show is the brainchild of Peter Gatti and Mark Blinkhorn, two Tampa-based musicians who were playing in a cover band together. During a break, they each said they had an idea for a show. It turned out to be the same plan. That was last fall and the show has taken off, with bookings in the Straz Center in Tampa, the Van Wezel Center in Sarasota and venues outside the state.

Gatti, who plays keyboard during the show, is a native of Pennsylvania who began playing keyboards at 8. His first instrument was an organ, but that changed when he joined bands as a teen and young adult. He spoke recently about the show, which has become more than he ever imagined.

“It’s a theater show and a concert experience,” he said of the production, which features an eight-piece rock band and six vocalists. “We start in the ’80s and rewind. It’s all in medley format. We play disco, funk, rock, Motown. You name it, we play it. It’s high-energy from start to finish. There are over 100 costume changes.”

Choosing the more than 60 songs in the show was a challenge.

“It was difficult and easy,” he said. “There are a ton of songs to work with. We tried to go with songs that would touch and move them, remembering the high school prom or driving to a family vacation. We could do 60 more songs. We recruit the talent and play to their strengths.”

In addition to the musicians and singers, the show has visual effects.

“A big part is the three huge video screens that show Woodstock, Vietnam, the prices of gas and American culture,” Gatti said. “It helps to bring back the memories. The show attempts to take us back. (People say) fun, memories and tears. We hear it time and time again. That was our goal with the show.”
Gaetti said that the 500-seat Lyric Theatre is ideal for the show.

“We try to get personal and interact,” he said. “We talk to them. Our show turns into a little party. By the time we get to disco, everyone is singing and dancing. It’s what we wanted. You can forget about what’s going on in this crazy world.”

The Lyric Theatre, 59 S.W. Flagler Ave., Stuart, presents Decades Rewind Nov. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45.
Call the box office at 772-286-7827 or order online at