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’80s Obsession

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What is going on with this rampant 80s fashion revivalism? Not so long ago, that particular decade was looked back upon with disdain and a fair amount of righteous embarrassment. I mean, c’mon folks, legwarmers? Shoulder pads? Pastel suits? Spandex? Have we forgotten the many gallons of ozone-depleting Aqua Net required to fortify those voluminous hairstyles?

And yet it seems that ’80s are indeed back. Current fashions are bringing back Madonna skirts and the two-toned neon polo shirts (thankfully, I’ve yet to see other 80s fashion disasters like parachute pants and day-glo splatter patterns). But the real sign of the revival comes in the form of theme parties, where the idea isn’t to reinvent a certain style, but to relive it.

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Saturday, Rollerama returns to Skate City (225 & 6th Ave.) for a rock & roller extravaganza. This is similar to a high school dance on roller skates. Remember the hokie-pokie? That’s what it’s all about. Plus couples dances, er… skates… the limbo contest, speed skating races. You get the idea. Plus they’ll have a costume contest for the best 80s outfit, and all the music will be taken from the top of the charts from 1980 – 1989. Like, totally rad. Tickets are $10 in costume, $15 otherwise, and the fun runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Details at 303-344-3321.

Next Tuesday, Mao restaurant in Cherry Creek will transform into an ’80s theme party, to benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art/ Denver. Think haze machines, black lights, neon colors, and a couple of drag queens making appearances as Prince and Madonna. DJ Brian will spin the ’80s hits — remixed — and the bar will offer drink specials and happy hour food prices all night. $20, 7 p.m., 201 Columbine, 303-377-5350.

Every Wednesday at the hi-dive on South Broadway is “Off the Wall” with DJ Jason Heller. Heller has a killer record collection, so feel free to waltz on up to the DJ booth and request your best obscure ’80s song. He’s probably got it, and will throw in into the mix for your listening and dancing pleasure. It’s a late-night scene, so don’t bother dropping in before 11 p.m., and if you really want to hit it when it’s hot, make it your last-call stop and drop by for an hour before closing time. The crowd is really, really into the ’80s during this night. You’ll see guys in eyeliner and Nikki Six hairdos and girls wearing side-of-the-head ponytails. Best part is, they don’t even realize they are wearing what some of us would consider costumes; for the 21-year olds who were too young to fully experience the ’80s the first time around, this is all a brand new world.

Granted, I like to dress the part when I attend any sort of themed event. But as someone who spent my early teens desperately trying to achieve huge feathered hair, I’m content to leave most of the ’80s where they belong — in the distant past.

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