BWW Reviews: ROCK OF AGES - Is It One for the Ages?

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-20010101

Last month, it was Next to Normal's Tony winner Alice Ripley who continued her role on the tour. And Tony-nominated Constantine Maroulis of "American Idol" fame is reprising his role in Rock of Ages at The National Theatre through July 24, 2011.

The intimate National Theatre is a perfect setting for this Broadway show/Rock Concert. As you enter the theater, there is rock music spewing loudly from the speakers (and it continues through the intermission). The evening is non-stop rock music.

I have to admit I was very much looking forward to this show For a rock musical, I found it strange that the only way to find what songs are performed, one must look at the back of the Playbill and the small print under" Music Credits" which only lists the names of the songs and the composers. There is no listing of who performed these many hits. What a mistake.

So, to rectify this, here are the songs, who performed them, and the dates:

ACT ONE
"Cum on Feel the Noize" (Slade, 1973, covered by Quiet Riot in 1983)
"Just Like Living in Paradise" (David Lee Roth, 1988)
"Nothin' but a Good Time" (Poison, 1988)
"Sister Christian" (Night Ranger, 1984)
"We Built This City" (Starship, 1985)
"Too Much Time on My Hands" (Styx, 1981)
"I Wanna Rock" (Twisted Sister, 1984)
"We're Not Gonna Take It" (Twisted Sister, 1984)
"More than Words" (Extreme, 1991)
"To Be With You" (Mr. Big, 1991)
"Waiting for a Girl Like You" (Foreigner, 1981)
"Wanted Dead or Alive" (Bon Jovi, 1987)
"I Want to Know What Love Is" (Foreigner, 1984)
"Harden My Heart" (Quarterflash, 1981)
"Shadows of the Night" (Benatar, 1982)
"Here I Go Again" (Whitesnake, 1982)

ACT TWO
"The Final Countdown" (Europe, 1986)
"Any Way You Want It" (Journey, 1980)
"Paradise City" (Guns N' Roses, 1988)
"High Enough" (Damn Yankees, 1990)
"I Hate Myself for Loving You" (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, 1988)
"Heat of the Moment" (Asia, 1982)
"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (Pat Benatar, 1980)
"Can't Fight This Feeling" (REO Speedwagon, 1984)
"Every Rose Has its Thorn" (Poison, 1988)
"Oh Sherrie" (Steve Perry, 1984)
"Keep On Loving You" (REO Speedwagon, 1980)
"The Search Is Over" (Survivor, 1985)
"Renegade" (Styx, 1978)
"Don't Stop Believin' (Journey, 1981)

Now, I must admit, I don't own one of these albums. But, most of this music is so well known, the audience was often singing along. Have you ever wondered why people mouth the lyrics to songs? Is it to impress others? Think about it.

Don't come expecting any kind of story. The plot is absurd and it doesn't even matter. This is just a chance for audiences to go into a time warp, back to the '80s and enjoy the performances. And people come back to see the show over and over again. They come in costumes with lights to hold up in the air. It reminded me midnight showings of the film "Rocky Horror Picture Show".

There is so much energy on stage, the cast could light up a city.

I have to be honest I was very surprised to see that Maroulis was nominated for a Tony. But after seeing his performance, I understand. He is terrific in his role of an aspiring singer working at a famous LA night-club which is about to be torn down.

Patrick Lewallen steals the show as the narrator. Highlights of the evening were Travis Walker as Franz, Nick Cordero as Dennis, Teresa Stanley as Justice, Casey Tuma as Regina.

Some of the book is certainly "R" rated and one should hesitate to bring the kids.

And for those not used to rock concerts, you may want to bring ear plugs.

There aren't many musicals that boast a producer who is an NBA star, but it seems somehow Amar'e Stoudemire got involved.

Rock of Ages ends its short run July 24.

For tickets, call 800-447-7400 or visit www.NationalTheatre.org.

Also visit www.RockofAgesMusical.com.

For tour sizzle reel visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tY-xJqQZ-o.

Look for the film starring Tom Cruise opening later this year.

For comments, write to cgshubow@broadwayworld.com.

 

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Charles Shubow Originally from Boston, Charles' first college show was "Barefoot in the Park," he played the role of the telephone repairman. Next came "How to Succeed..." in which he played in the ensemble and then Chairman of the Board. He appeared in "Fiddler on the Roof" at the White Marsh Dinner Theatre as Lazar Wolf. Charles' daughter Britt played one of Tevye's younger daughters. Britt later completed a five year stint in Broadway's "Mamma Mia!" as the Sophie understudy. Charles conducts theatre trips to Broadway shows as the "Shubow Shuttle."


 
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