Get out the big hair ‘dos and rocker denim we know you still have hidden in the back of your closets. Rock of Ages is landing its studded boot heels at the Playhouse next week, and this show is going to be W-I-L-D. This is the perfect summer jukebox musical about a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world, who meets a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit, both livin’ just to find emotion.
If you still need convincing, here are a few reasons you need to see Rock of Ages and why it truly does rock!
1. YOU KNOW EVERY SONG!
Even if you didn’t come of age during the heyday of hair metal, you probably know most of the songs featured in Rock of Ages from their appearances in film, TV, commercials and other media for the last several decades. We dare you not to sing, clap or dance along to the cast’s takes on such iconic ’80s hits as Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock,” Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” (If you were ever a fan of the TV musical show, GLEE, you certainly know this one!)
2.) THESE CHARACTERS ARE A FORCE OF NATURE.
Most of the characters in Rock of Ages are lovable, and even when they’re not (ahem, Stacee Jaxx), they’re still entertaining as all get out. Even in mullet wigs, it’s hard to tell where the actors end and begin. Add in their 80s-tastic wardrobe, and if you lived through the real 80s, you’ll raise a wine cooler in admiration. Watch out for improv extraordinaire, Jody Kujawa as Lonny! He’s holding nothing back, and that’s half the fun.
Lonny (Jody Kujawa) and Dennis (Shad Olsen) make plans with their fans in the Bourbon Room.
3.) THERE’S A REAL. LIVE. BAND.
Yeah, lots of our shows have live bands. But the band in Rock of Ages isn’t hidden in the orchestra pit or removed from the action. The band plays both a role in the show (as Stacee Jaxx’s band, Arsenal) and serves as the on-stage backing band during the entire performance.
4.) THERE IS NO FOURTH WALL.
It’s not unheard of for shows to have “interactive” elements that engage with the audience (remember Miss Adelaide roaming around the front row of Guys & Dolls during the Hot Box numbers?). However, Rock of Ages is unique in that at least some of its characters (particularly Lonny) not only address the audience directly but are fully aware that they’re in a stage musical. Because the show’s songs are performed live, and not to a prerecorded soundtrack or synced to complex set pieces, there is plenty of room for improvisation, and even for reaction to the crowd. Singing along too loud? The actors will let you know. Not singing loud enough? They’ll let you know.
5.) THIS SHOW HAS A REAL, EMOTIONAL CORE.
In between the bathroom humor, naughty puns and ridiculous hair, Rock of Ages does a surprisingly effective job of making audiences care about its characters and their plight. Aside from the headline love story of Drew and Sherrie, there’s the plight of the Bourbon Room to avoid being demolished by German developer Hertz, the yearning for approval by his son Franz, and even the bromance between Lonny and his long-time Bourbon Room partner/boss, Dennis Dupree. Despite the tongue-in-cheek delivery and the tendency to break out into ‘80s rock songs, these characters make you as emotionally invested in their stories as you are musically invested in their awesome tunes.
GET TICKETS NOW!
What: Rock of Ages
Where: The Duluth Playhouse
When: July 14-31, 2016
Showtimes: Wednesday-Saturday @ 7:30pm, Sunday @ 2:00pm
Ticket Prices: Adults – $30, Youth/Students – $25, Groups (15+) – $25
Purchase: Online at duluthplayhouse.org, call 218.733.7555, or stop by in person at our box office located inside the Depot
PARENTAL ADVISTORY: Rock of Ages is all about having a good time, and we want kids to rock out as hard as we know everyone will, but you should know some of the costumes, dancing and language might not be appropriate for kids under the age of 13. We think teenagers will totally think it’s awesome, too. The show IS kind of like a music video brought to life. You know the maturity of your children, so we suggest you use your best judgement whether or not the show is appropriate for them. Just remember…if you do bring them, they’ll get to see you rockin’ like you did back in the day!