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BWW Interview: Dale Obermark of ROCK OF AGES at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Get your tickets for this high-energy jukebox musical!

BWW Interview: Dale Obermark of ROCK OF AGES at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Rock of Ages first premiered in Los Angeles in 2005 and made its way to Broadway in 2009. Rock of Ages was written by Chris D'Arienzo and features music from famous 1980s rock stars, including Styx, Journey, Pat Benatar, and others. This high-energy jukebox musical takes the stage at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre through May 15th. Dale Obermark, who performs the role of Drew, took some time to talk with BroadwayWorld about Rock of Ages.

BWW: Tell us a little about yourself.

Obermark: I was born and raised in Washington, MO, which is about an hour west of St. Louis. I've been singing ever since I can remember, and I started playing guitar in sixth grade. Both skills have proved quite useful in my career choice, so I'm glad I leaned into them! I moved to NYC in August of 2019, and have been pretty successful in terms of working contracts since then (minus the COVID-time, when all theatres were shut down). I love performing, and I'm so happy to be able to make it my career and life's work!

BWW: What is one role you dream of performing that you haven't yet?

Obermark: One of my dream roles would have to be Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. I love the music in the show, and it's a role that I think would be so exciting to play.

BWW: What is your favorite show to perform in to date?

Obermark: Rock of Ages has definitely been one of my favorites so far, closely followed by Escape To Margaritaville. They are both such entertaining shows filled with over-the-top characters and ridiculous plots, which always makes it fun to be a part of!

BWW: For those not familiar with Rock of Ages, tell us a little about your character.

Obermark: Drew is a guy living in Los Angeles, trying to make it big in the hair-band rock scene. He has dreams of being a rock god and works at the historic Bourbon Room bar while pursuing his career. He has an air of innocence and optimistic energy about him at first, but you see his demeanor shift a bit as he encounters various trials with his career and the story's love interest, Sherrie. Throughout the show, we see Drew's development as he encounters these obstacles and learns to overcome them. I am happy to report that, in the end, he doesn't become too jaded by the industry and still maintains quite a bit of his positive charm.

BWW: How does it feel to perform such iconic songs?

Obermark: I absolutely love being able to perform these iconic rock songs. It's a huge selection of some of the biggest rock hits from the 80s, and I usually don't have an outlet to sing them except for karaoke and when I'm behind the steering wheel of a car! This show allows me to combine two things I love: musical theatre and rock music. It's truly a dream show!

BWW: What is your favorite song in the show and why?

Obermark: There are so many songs in the show that I love singing! Because it's such a difficult choice, I am actually going to give you two of my favorites. "High Enough" and "Oh Sherrie" are two songs that I really love singing every performance. But I truly love every single song in the show. That makes it easy to perform every day!

BWW: Some potential audience members might be skeptical about hearing these iconic songs in the context of a musical-what would you tell them to encourage them to come see the show.

Obermark: This show does a great job of combining musical theatre with these legendary rock songs. I would encourage everyone to check it out, as it isn't your typical night out for theatre. The plot and characters are purposely over-the-top and ridiculous, which coincides with some of the trends of the 80s hair bands. The songs maintain their dignity, and none of them have been altered to create a "musical theatre" sound. We're singing them in the style they were written, we have a live rock band on stage with us, and the music is the focal point of the show. The story line is nice and helps to weave the songs together, but even fans of the music alone will find it an enjoyable experience!

BWW: One of the themes of the show is about dreams for the future and how things often don't turn out the way we think they will. Can you share with us a time when things turned out differently from how you thought they would in your own life?

Obermark: I can definitely relate to the theme of "things turning out differently than you expected." I originally went to school to be a vocal music director. I got my undergraduate degree in music education, and I spent three years teaching choir at a high school. It wasn't until 2019 that I decided to totally change gears, move to NYC, and pursue performing as my full-time career. I am so happy that I made that decision! So...you just never know how things may turn out!

BWW: What is your absolute favorite thing about performing in Rock of Ages?

Obermark: My favorite thing about performing in Rock of Ages is the ecstatic energy that the band and cast bring to the stage every night. We get to go out there, perform rock music with a live band, dress up in some crazy 80s attire, and have a blast putting on a show for our wonderful audiences. It's never hard to motivate ourselves to get on stage. We are all pumped for every performance, and the show is just filled with so much energy and excitement that it's impossible not to love being a part of it!

BWW: If you had to pick just one, what is your favorite rock song or rock singer/group of all time and why?

Obermark: This question is so, so hard for me. I have quite an eclectic taste in music, and I listen to rock artists that span every decade starting back in the 50s. That being said, one rock god who will always be high on my list is Bruce Springsteen. Though he's not the style of our show, his imprint on the rock industry is huge. He writes songs that are filled with awesome stories and characters, the music is great, he incorporates so many different instruments, and his sound has evolved over the course of his career. I was introduced to him at a young age by my parents, and I've loved his music ever since.

BWW: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Obermark: This cast is filled with incredibly talented performers, the band is absolutely stellar, and we had an amazing creative team who have all come together to put create a truly rockin' production. This is not your typical musical theatre show, and I truly think there's something in it for everyone! I encourage everyone to come out and be ready to experience a show like none they've ever seen at Dutch Apple!

Everyone get ready to rock and get your tickets for the remaining performances of Rock of Ages at dutchapple.com!



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