I was a junior in high school when the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” was released in 1982. The story of a man with an attitude attending Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School who meets a townie who shakes up his world.
I remember all my girlfriends swooning over Richard Gere. Gere had recently made a name for himself with “American Gigolo.” Debra Winger was fresh off her starring role in “Urban Cowboy” and would star in “Terms of Endearment” the following year. Gere and Winger made movie magic with “Officer and a Gentleman.” The scene in which Gere arrives at Winger’s factory in his Naval whites and sweeps her literally of her feet was every romantic’s dream ending.
It’s definitely a movie that “gives you all the feels.”
The movie was a huge box-office hit. Winger was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress and Louis Gossett Jr. won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Now, the stage version, “An Officer and a Gentleman: The Musical” is coming to Huntsville’s Von Braun Center from Jan. 14-16. Broadway Theater League Huntsville is hosting the five performances over three days in the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall.
The synopsis for the show follows the movie’s plot: “Zack Mayo has the raw talent and strength for the US Navy’s Officer Training School; but his arrogance is out of step. Graduating from the elite program will secure Zack’s career and future, but can he endure the relentless commands of Drill Sergeant Foley? On his journey of self-discovery, Zack finds comfort in the arms of a strong-willed local factory worker. When tragedy befalls a fellow candidate, Zack learns the importance of friendship and honor, finds the courage to be his best self and wins the heart of the woman he loves.”
One of the main reasons I’m looking forward to the show is the memories its soundtrack brings back. The theme, “Love Lift Is Up Where We Belong,” was not only a No. 1 hit at the time, but it also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Not only that, the musical is filled with numerous hits from the 1980s, making it like a soundtrack to my teenage years. A few of the songs are “Owner of a Lonely Heart” (Yes), “Love is a Battlefield” (Pat Benatar), “Lost In Your Eyes” (Debbie Gibson), “I Can’t Hold Back” (Survivor), “Hold On to Your Dream (Rick Springfield), and “Renegade” (Styx).
I’m planning to attend with a group of friends from high school and I know it will bring back memories. When I mentioned the show to my daughter, who is 28, she said she’d never heard of “An Officer and a Gentleman.” That is an error in parenting I think needs to be rectified so I’m planning to take her with us.
Not only will the show be a perfect girls’ night and mother-daughter event but it’s a great date movie. I can’t wait!
Check out the details here: