Review: HITMAKERS: ROCK VS. DISCO at JCC Centerstage Theatre

What did our critic think of HITMAKERS: ROCK VS. DISCO at JCC Centerstage Theatre?

By: Feb. 06, 2024
Review: HITMAKERS: ROCK VS. DISCO at JCC Centerstage Theatre

There is perhaps no greater rivalry in the history of music than that of rock and disco. Both genres had their icons and their laughingstocks, and the rivalry among the respective fanbases reached a level of ferocity unforeseen in the annals of popular culture. What better fodder for the 2024 installment of JCC’s beloved annual tradition, the “Hitmaker” series.

“Rock vs. Disco” is a continuation of the JCC Centerstage Theatre’s annual “Hitmakers” musical review series, wherein a theme is selected (usually a particular genre, artist, or time period) and popular songs from that theme are interspersed with narrative storytelling. In “Hitmakers: Rock vs. Disco”, some of Rochester’s most talented singers treat the audience to hits by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Kiss, Rod Stewart, ABBA, and countless others, while also providing some education around the musical backdrop of the era: the rivalries, who was topping the charts, and how disco came to be so loathed in pop culture.

JCC’s Hitmakers series can always be counted on as an entertaining, smashing good time, and “Rock vs. Disco” keeps that tradition alive. While highlighting the evening’s standouts would basically require a full recounting of the set list, some of my favorites include (in no particular order): Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors”, a haunting and goosebump-inducing collab between the guys and gals; Alvis Green Jr.’s hold-nothing-back rendition of “I Will Survive” (I could watch Alvis read the phone book, my god what a showman); and of course, the Village People’s iconic “YMCA” featuring the entire cast.

The “Hitmakers: Rock vs. Disco” is tremendous fun, regardless of whether you’re Team Rock or Team Disco (or like me, both!), and showcases some of Rochester’s top musical talent. It’s playing until February 18th, for tickets and more information click here.