After hit runs in Los Angeles and Off-Broadway, Rock of Ages has been rocking the Broadway world since 2009. Set on L.A.’s infamous Sunset Strip in 1987, this exuberant show features hit tunes from the decade of big bands, big egos and even bigger hair. The story follows Drew, an aspiring singer, and Sherrie, a wanna-be actress, who meet while working together at the Bourbon Room, a sleazy but welcoming club. Complications arise when the couple splits up and heartless German developers scheme to tear down the neighborhood in favor of luxury condos. But all ends well as the lovers reunite and the head-bangers defeat the suits. Here are five reasons to take this time machine back to the 1980s.
All your favorite songs from the ’80s
The score is comprised of dozens of top hits from the decade of Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi and Pat Benatar including “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Renegade,” “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” “Anyway You Want It,” “Hit Me With Best Shot,” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
It’s a party
This show feels more like a concert than a musical. They even distribute lighters to flick on during the soulful numbers. Narrator Lonny acts as host and encourages audience participation, while the other characters frequently break the fourth wall and remind everyone this is a show. Plus the intimacy of the small-scale Helen Hayes Theater makes you feel even closer to the cast.
Drink up during the show
Unlike other Broadway shows which prohibit drinks and food in the theater, Rock of Ages encourages imbibing during the performance. Waitstaff are roaming the aisles before and during the show and at intermission.
The onstage band rules
Usually Broadway musicians are hidden from view in the orchestra pit. But here they are right on stage throughout the show, constantly rocking either as the back-up for the rocker character Stacee Jaxx or providing the tunes for the rest of the score. Lead guitarist Joel Hoekstra also plays for Trans Siberian Orchestra and Night Ranger (whose hit “Sister Christian” is performed in the show) and guitarist Tommy Kessler plays for ’80s band Blondie.
The hottest cast on Broadway
Audience members have raved about the (both vocally and physically) stunning cast, currently featuring Carrie St. Louis from theLas Vegas company as Sherrie, Aaron C. Finley as Drew and Joey Calveri as Stacee Jaxx.