Rock of Ages – May 11, 2012
I had to get up and write this post this morning to tell everyone that read the review in the Vancouver Sun about the Rock of Ages production to ignore it. If you were a fan of the 80’s as I am you will love it!! The 80’s included my junior high and high school years and I knew the lyrics to every song in the show. Every song reminded me of something. I wore leg warmers, had long bangs and HUGE 80’s hair. I won’t show you a picture of my grade 12 graduation but my hair was bigger than the grad cap! Anyway – back to the show.

The premise of the show is that Sherrie is a ‘small town girl’ who comes to the Sunset Strip to be an actress and ends up working in the bar where ‘Drew’ a wanna-be rocker from ‘South Detroit’ is also working. You know the Journey lyrics right? Small town girl, lonely boy, smokey room, etc. etc. In the mean time a German developer has come to rebuild a whole section of the Strip. The story follows Sherrie and Drew and the bar owner Dennis with the help of a cast of characters and Lonny the narrator.

Funny and Entertaining
The cast is all very good and do a great job at making fun of all things 80’s while providing pretty good renditions of the songs; top 40 rock and rock ballads. The Vince Neil-esqu ‘Stacee Jazz’ was perfectly played by Matt Nolan. Hilarious and with a great voice. And even though he was not supposed to look anything like Jon Bon Jovi he did a decent job of one of my favourites “Wanted Dead or Alive”. ‘Lonny’ the narrator was a great mix of Jonny Depp’s pirate and Jack Black with a funny twist at the end of the show to the song “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon. ‘Drew and Sherrie’ the star crossed lovers sound great together in “High Enough” but the vocal highlight was ‘Mother’ played by Amma Osei in “Every Rose has it’s Thorn” and parts of a few other hits. It is too bad that her fabulous voice was not used a bit more throughout the production. 

My biggest laugh came when ‘Franz’ the developer’s son and ‘Regina’ the activist break out of their chains and into Richard Simmons-style outfits with leg warmers to perform “Hit me with your best shot”. Funny and entertaining! Both acts had the full ensemble singing true 80’s classics – Act One “Here I go again on my own” (which I sang all the way home) and Act Two “Don’t Stop Believin’. And in my 80’s loving opinion this rendition was better than Glee’s ‘sugar-pop’ one. I also have to mention the writers who did a great job working within the lyrics of these songs. I wonder how many 80’s hits they actually listened to the weave this story together?

The first thing I said to Jeff when the show was over was “can we see it again”? My aunt and uncle were with us too and they enjoyed it as well even though they were a bit older in the 80’s era than we are. The show is only here for two more nights and there are still tickets available so if you like the 80’s you will definitely love this!