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Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre

Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre

Performances run through November 26th.

Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre

Rock of Ages is a jukebox musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. The original Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances. There was a not-so-great movie in 2012 featuring Tom Cruise.

Set in L.A.'s infamous Sunset Strip in the 1980s, Rock of Ages tells the story of Drew, A city boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, both in L.A. To chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love. It also talks about economic development and popular venues being forced to close to improve communities.

Of course this show features some amazing music, so you need amazing musicians. This pit features rock stars Steve Stine, Russ Peterson, Jo Marie Fike, Doug Neill and Tom Christianson with Brian Cole as the Pit Conductor. MHS Theatre assembled this true all-star rock band that will "melt your faces".

The set for this show is beautiful and is a true throwback to bars of the 1980's. They drew inspiration from Kirby's and Ralph's, both popular Moorhead hangouts back in the day. Scenic designers are Jeff Brown and Curtis Phillips.

The Choreographers for this years performance are Meleah LaPlante and Colby Schwartzwalter. The dancing was non-stop just like the singing. With dancers utilizing every inch of the stage and all throughout the theater. Great job Meleah and Colby!

For most shows I usually see one, two, three or maybe even four or five standout performances but this show had so many that I really hope I don't miss anyone.

Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre First off we have CeCe Bedore as Sherrie. Wow... Her vocals just keep getting better every time I see her. She was great as Blanche in last years Bonnie and Clyde but she took it to another level this year and actually gave me chills a few times. She has some wonderful scenes with Drew (Finn Larson). She really shows her range from comedy to drama. Some of my favorite vocal performances were on "Sister Christian", "Waiting for a Girl Like You", "Harden my Heart", "I Hate Myself for Lovin' You" and "Every Rose has it's Thorn".

Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre Finn Larson as Drew was another amazing performance. From ensemble in Bonnie and Clyde to rocking his @$$ off this year, Finn was amazing. As mentioned above he has some great scenes with CeCe, also showing some wonderful comedy skills. He really got to show off his rocking vocals on some of my favorites like "We Built This City", "To Be With You", "Waiting for a Girl Like You", "High Enough", "Every Rose has it's Thorn" and "Oh, Sherrie". Finn definitely killed it for his senior show.

If I had to give out an award for rookie of the year, or best newcomer it would definitely be Hudson Hall as Dennis. Hudson is a senior and this is his first ever theatre production. He was perfect as Dennis. He shows some wonderful acting ability, great stage presence and comedy skills. He has some amazing vocals on "We Built This City", "The Final Countdown" and of course one of the audience favorite moments in his duet with Lonny (Leif Carlson) on "Can't Fight This Feeling". I do hope this isn't the one and only time I see Hudson on stage.Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre

Leif Carlson as Lonny was absolutely superb. Not only is Lonny a character in the show, he is also the narrator. He has some of the funniest moments on stage and still gets to show off his vocal skills. I really enjoyed his vocals on "We Built This City", "The Final Countdown" and of course "Can't Fight This Feeling" with Hudson.

Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre Probably my absolute favorite person in this production is Greta Homuth as Anita Bath. Greta steals every scene she is in with her vocals, dancing, comedy, facial expressions and mannerisms. She had me smiling and laughing throughout. Some of my favorites were "Too Much Time on My Hands", "The Final Countdown", "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot". And she could challenge MJ in a moonwalking competition!

Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre Jack Nichol as Stacee Jaxx is another great casting choice. He played the character so well. He has some hilarious moments throughout the show. Some of my favorite vocal moments for him are on "Wanted Dead or Alive", "I Want To Know What Love Is" and "Every Rose Has It's Thorn".

Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre India Carlson as Justice Charlier was so good. I really enjoyed her scenes with Sherrie and I really loved her vocals on "Shadows of the Night", "Any Way You Want It" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".

Tate Horan as Franz was definitely an audience favorite. Him and Greta on stage together had some hilarious moments. Also his scenes with Chase Schmidt as Hilda were great. Tate is wonderful on "Too Much Time on My Hands", "The Final Countdown", "Hit Me With Your Best Show" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".Review: ROCK OF AGES at Moorhead High Theatre

Chase Schmidt as Hilda is hilarious. I could tell his character was a favorite of so many in the audience. Chase had some very funny stand out moments on "Too Much Time on My Hands", "The Final Countdown" and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot.

Add in all of the amazing and talented supporting characters and a beyond talented ensemble and you have a show that should not be missed. This show is non-stop from beginning to end. An absolute 1980's party!

Congrats to Rebecca and her whole cast and crew and yet another wonderful Moorhead High School Theatre Production.

As of now I believe every remaining performance is sold out but director Rebecca Meyer-Larson is trying to add an additional show.

Reminder that these performances are at Horizon Middle School in Moorhead due to the construction at Moorhead High School.

Photo Credit: Robby Njos



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From This Author - Brian Michaels

Brian Michaels got his start in radio at the age of 15 back in 1989. The early 90s saw a move to Moorhead, MN (Fargo, ND) for school and more radio opportunities. Brian found his niche in 1997 when... (read more about this author)


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