Like, Totally Awesome: OVST Revisits The ’80s With “Ohio Valley Live: Parents Rock”

Posted on:

< < Back to

For some, the words “parents” and “rock music” seem incongruous. After all, weren’t we all told to “turn that noise down!” at some point during our teenage years?

Times have changed, according to area musician Matt Swintek.

“Today’s parents grew up with the music of the ’80s,” he explained. “And it’s back in a big way.”

In a few days, Gen X’ers will be pouring in to Athens for OU Parents Weekend, and Ohio Valley Summer Theater (OVST) has just the ticket for those looking to relive the era of Madonna, moonwalking and Martha Quinn.

“Ohio Valley Live: Parents Rock!,” a sketch comedy/live music show, will be presented at ARTS/West on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21, with performances at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Swintek’s ’80s cover band Holy Spicoli will perform alongside local comedic actors during the show. Although the group is excited to be a part of the production, it was a hard sell at first, according to Swintek.

“I thought [the band] was going to throw a fit when I signed us up to do it,” he chuckled. “But after the first rehearsal, our bass player Bryan–who I thought would give me the most grief–said, ‘Let’s run through the whole show again!'”

Ohio Valley Live, a satellite theater group of OVST, was piloted earlier this year with a special Moms Weekend fundraiser. Since then, the group has built a relationship with the non-profit sketch comedy troupe Shadowbox Live, which has been providing mentoring and coaching.

Swintek, who has been a Shadowbox Live fan for nearly 15 years, jumped at the chance to work with the long-running Columbus theater company.

“I’ve seen 30 to 40 Shadowbox performances and have always been blown away. They’ve been terrific to work with…great performers, helpful tips,” he said.

This weekend’s show is being billed as a “high-energy, fun night out and a break from traditional or classical theatre forms.” It will also be one of ARTS/West’s first productions since its recent renovations.

“We’re thankful for ARTS/West’s support,” said show director and OVST Managing Director Marlo Tinkham. “As we know from multiple prior collaborations, their technical capacity will be a great addition. The upgrades to the stage and audience area, including the seating style, are perfect for this type of show.”

Local actors Jodi MacNeal, Heidi Wilhelm, James Euto, Leslie Heskett and Rob Goeller will perform the comedy skits, while Swintek will be joined by his bandmates Bryan McQuade, Brytton McGuire, Sean Sigert and Joann Wolfe. Jesse Harmon is the show’s stage technician.

Reserved seats are available at this link or by calling 740-517-0503. Tickets are $15 and include one free drink from the cash bar. All proceeds benefit Ohio Valley Summer Theater. For more information, visit or the event’s Facebook page.