American Airlines AA1980 LAX- Los Angeles to MAN-Manchester has landed at the Opera House with the musical Rock of Ages.
Review by Ian Robert Hills, Wythenshawe FM 97.2, 25th September 2018.
Here we go again – the smash hit musical is back in the UK.
Rock of Ages is an LA love story lavished with over 25 classic rock anthems. It’s a musical which invites you to lose yourself in a city and a time where the dreams are as big as the hair and, yes, they can come true.
Starring Kevin Kennedy as ‘Dennis’, Zoe Birkett as ‘Justice’, Danielle Hope as ‘Sherrie’, Luke Walsh as ‘Drew’, Lucas Rush as ‘Lonny’, Andrew Carthy as ‘Franz’, Vas Constanti as ‘Hertz’ and Rhiannon Chesterman as ‘Regina,’ this hilarious musical comedy will have you singing and laughing along with its epic songs, including ‘We Built This City’, ‘The Final Countdown’, ‘Here I Go Again’, ‘Can’t Fight this Feeling’ and ‘I Want to Know What Love Is,’ played loud and proud by an awesome live band.
We arrive at the The Bourbon Room on Sunset Boulevard in 1984 which is based on clubs like the Starwood, the Viper, the Whisky A Go Go and the Rainbow Bar and Grill. The Rainbow became well known as a hangout for rock musicians and their groupies. Motörhead frontman Lemmy was a regular visitor.
The musical tells the age-old story of boy meets girl, loses the girl and finds the girl again. Here our hero Drew (Luke Walsh) is eking out a living in the The Bourbon Room club and dreaming of being a rock star. He falls for Sherrie (Danielle Hope), newly arrived from Kansas in search of stardom herself, but she has a fling with the narcissistic lead singer of rock giants Arsenal, Stacee Jaxx (Sam Ferriday). The romance is dead before it begins.
Club owner, Dennis Dupree, (Kevin Kennedy) faces his own fight as ruthless German developer, Hertz Klineman, (Vas Constanti), is hindered by his son Franz (Andrew Carthy) as he seeks to demolish the Strip and replace it with a shopping mall.
The plot is simply a vehicle for hit after hit, with narrator Lonny (Lucas Rush) holding it all together brilliantly with cheeky charm.
Classic rock songs, like ‘We Built this City’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ are belted out brilliantly by the cast, with some given light-hearted treatment; Sherrie (Danielle Hope) and Justice (Zoe Birkett) duetting on ‘Harden My Heart’ was especially well done.
Throw in the rock chicks, California backdrops, and some enjoyable tongue-in-cheek dance routines, and you have over two hours of frolicsome fun. Not to be missed.
Rock of Ages is on tour. For information about where to catch the musical in other parts of the UK go to the website: atgtickets.com/shows/rock-of-ages