BWW Review: ROCK OF AGES Brings Big Hits and Wild Hair to the Metro Theatre!
Anyone who loves rock & roll, rad costumes, energetic dancing, and uplifting humor would be a fool not to make their way to the Metro Theatre in Vancouver for Renegade Arts Company's production of Rock of Ages. Highlighting classic rock songs from the 80s from artists such as Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Whitesnake, and Journey, this jukebox musical brought out my inner rock star!
ROCK OF AGES is currently playing at the Metro Theatre in Vancouver till July 6th. Directed by two-time Ovation Award Winner Chris Adams and produced by Jim Buckshon, the show stands as Renegade Arts Company's 4th major theatre production. Taking place in 1987, Rock of Ages tells the story of aspiring rock star Drew Boley and future actress Sherrie Christian. Both young with big dreams, the show presents the audience with the challenges they face with their careers and with each other. Thinking of both the plot and the music, I would recommend this show to an older audience. The show addresses some mature themes and a majority of the songs would be most likely more familiar to an older audience or to those who love rock & roll!
I was very impressed by both the set by Brian Ball and costume design by Donnie Tejani. Ball's set design allowed for the story to move smoothly and for the rock & roll performances to encompass the stage. The entire set really gave off the grunge feeling of the Bourbon Room. Posters covered the walls including those of famous rock bands such as AC/DC. Instead of having the band off to the side, backstage, or in an orchestra pit, the band was placed centre stage making each performance feel like a rock concert. Tejani's costume design also made a significant contribution to the production's overall rock & roll vibe. Tight jeans, bright colours, and black leather reinforced the 1980s era along with the wild longhaired wigs worn by guitarists and lead actor Victor Hunter (Drew).
Unfortunately for a good portion of the show, there was a sound issue making it hard to hear most of the actors singing on stage. Without hearing what most of the actors were saying, it was difficult to understand the beginning plot of the musical and to pick up on the fine details of the story. The sound definitely got better by the end of the show; however, it was a shame that this issue happened on opening night. Despite this mishap (which I am guessing will be fixed for future shows), the show was put together really well.
Lead Actors Victor Hunter (Drew), Synthia Yusuf (Sherrie), Charles Deagnon (Lonny), and Joseph Spitale (Franz) gave outstanding performances. Hunter rocked out hard with his incredible vocals and energy onstage throughout numerous numbers. Yusuf proved herself a triple threat with her powerful vocals, energized dancing, and passionate acting. Deagnon delivered the energy to the show right from the beginning with his charismatic stage presence. Spitale brought the laughs with his infectiously funny character and dance number with Megan Greenwood (Regina).
ROCK OF AGES by the Renegade Arts Company was overall a great production. Despite some sound issues, the show had my utmost attention with its amazing set, beaming dance numbers, and incredible talent supplied by its actors. Definitely make your way to the Metro Theatre this week to see this show and support the local theatre community because this show definitely deserves some attention!
ROCK OF AGES is currently playing at the Metro Theatre in Vancouver from June 27th to July 6th. Tickets are available at the Metro Theatre Box Office by calling 604-266-7191 or visiting tickets.metrotheatre.com.
Photo Credit: Nicol Spinola, 2019