Brush Up On All Things 1982 In Preparation for Broadway’s This Is Our Youth

August 14th, 2014 by

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Brush Up On All Things 1982 In Preparation for Broadway’s...

Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth makes its Broadway debut this fall with an all-star cast featuring Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin and Tavi Gevinson under the direction of August: Osage County Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro. The dark comedy offers audiences a glimpse into the lives of three young New Yorkers in 1982, complete with sex, drugs and some soul searching.

But here’s the thing, the play is set in 1982 and many young audience members who are going to relate to the story and/or are fans of the stars might not have been alive in 1982. So we’re going to help paint a picture of life in 1982 New York with this look at 18 cultural touchstones from the year.

Here’s what New York City looked like that year.

New York 1982

Time Magazine names the computer the first-ever non-human 'Man of the Year.' Also in 1982, the first ever computer virus, the Elk Cloner, is let loose and infects via floppy disks. Yup, floppy disks.

Nationwide unemployment peaked at 16.3%, one in six workers was unemployed or underemployed.

Times Is Hard- Sweeney Todd- Angela Lansbury

The San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl beating the Cincinnati Bengals; the New York Islanders bested the Vancouver Canucks for the Stanley Cup; the L.A. Lakers took the NBA Championship over the Philadelphia 76ers; and the World Series went to the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat out the Milwaukee Brewers.

1982 Sports winners

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

Michael Jackson released Thriller, the biggest selling album of all time.


The Weather Channel begins airing, the first issue of USA Today is published and Late Night with David Letterman and Cheers premiere on NBC.


Prince William and a bunch of other famous people were born, and on the flip side Grace Kelly, John Belushi and Ingrid Berman were among the famous people who passed away.

Cats begins its “now and forever” run at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre.


Ronald Reagan declares war on drugs. (32 years later, the war wages on…)

War on Drugs

The average cost of a new home was $82,200, rent typically costs $320 a month, gas costs 91 cents a gallon and the average annual income was $21,050.

Two-Time Tony winner Christine Ebersole was a cast member on SNL. Crazy, right?

Christine Ebersole SNL

The largest cash robbery in history occurs in New York when $9,800,000 is stolen from an armored car.

Elizabeth Ward, Miss Arkansas, is crowned Miss America.

Elizabeth Ward

The Academy Award for Best Picture goes to Chariots of Fire, but more importantly the Annie film adaptation premiered. #WeGotAnnie


The Tony Award for Best Play went to The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby; meanwhile Nine beat Dreamgirls in a legendary upset for Best Musical.

Nine - Dreamgirls- Tony Award- Broadway

The Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series went to Hill Street Blues, and Barney Miller won Outstanding Comedy Series.

1982 Emmy Award

And the super catchy "Bette Davis Eyes" wins the Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.


So now the scene is set. You’re prepped and ready to experience This Is Our Youth at Broadway’s Cort Theatre.