BWW Review: BDT's ROCK OF AGES is Hot Shredded Cheese
Hot. Shredded. Cheese.
You know what I'm talking about. That gooey kind that stretches from the plate to your mouth, and you just can't get enough.
That's how BDT Stage's current '80s jukebox musical Rock of Ages feels. The talent is hot. The guitars shred. And it's cheesy as hell, just like it should be.
When you've got a musical featuring the songs of Journey, Styx, Poison and Bon Jovi (to name a few), it makes you realize that '80s rock was clearly meant for musical theatre. Big hair, wild costumes, high belting...it's just like living in paradise. The book material is written by Christopher D'Arienzo with arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp.
The tunes are intertwined through a plot centering around LA's Sunset Strip in 1987. Narrated by Bourbon Room employee Lonny (Barret Harper), the story follows an aspiring rocker named Drew (Tim Howard), who works alongside Lonny and falls for Sherrie (Olivia Sydelle), a new girl in town looking to make it big as an actress. As a German father-son development team Hertz (Brian Burron) and Franz (Brian Cronan) plan to demolish the block in favor of a new strip mall, the club owner, Dennis (Scott Beyette) calls on rockstar Stacee Jaxx (Scott Severtson) and his band Arsenal to play their final show at the venue where they first started.
The cast also features Valerie Igoe as protester Regina and Joanie Brosseau-Rubald as Justice, who runs a strip club. Various characters are played by Tracy Warren, Alejandro Roldan, Brian Jackson, Jessica, Hindsley, Danielle Scheib, Alissa Robinson and Leo Batlle.
Across the board, the cast is a dynamic group, settling into the material like second nature.
If you come in expecting anything but a campy time machine, you're at the wrong musical. The last thing this show does is take itself seriously, and that's just what makes it work.
Scenic design by Amy Campion immerses you straight into the 1980s bar scene. Costume design by Linda Morken is equal parts sexy and eccentric. If you're still hungry after dinner, this show's a nice feast for the eyes.
It's hot. It shreds. It's cheesy. And you just want more.
Rock of Ages plays its final weeks at BDT Stage through Nov. 11. Tickets are available at BDTStage.com