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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Stage West’s Rock Of Ages Catches Stride In Time…

Rock Of Ages
(Chris D'Arienzo/Ethan Popp)

Stage West Calgary, until June 25th

(Photo Courtesy Stage West Calgary)

Rock Of Ages

Stage West Calgary

As far as modern musicals go, Rock Of Ages is overall harmless fun - the show takes aim at 80’s rock and trends of the era, skimps on even trying to create 3-D characters, and yet still found success - the original production ended up the 27th longest running show in Broadway’s history.

Stage West’s recently opened production features plenty of talented actors, and by the end of the show, you can’t help but get caught up in the revelry. 

As I have to write my official Calgary Herald review, I’ll just touch on highlights here - however if you’ve heard of the show, you’ll know to expect doppelgängers for 80’s rockers like Bret Michaels (Poison), and snippets of hard rock/heavy metal favourites from the likes of Asia, Europe, and Foreigner. 

Despite the leather, big hair and frequent guitar solos, it’s the typical boy meets girl, boy follows dream, dream gets dashed, boy loses girl, but all’s well that ends well after all those things get sorted out by songs and humorous sight gags. 

The plot (such as it is) drags down the first act, but the second act roars with some laughs ands powerhouse performances - most notably Daphne Moens in the dual role of Justice (the owner of a local gentlemen’s club), and Sherrie’s (the girl) mother. Man, can she belt out a Pat Benatar song - and more…

Show stealers are the combo of German developers Hertz Klinemann (David Talbot) and his son Franz (Mark Allen), who knock their roles out of the park as the storyline progresses.

For the rest of the cast and ensemble, director Tracey Flye has brought in actors that seem nicely suited to their roles. Narrator, and rock club fixture Lonny (Michael De Rose) balances booming vocals with his character’s ongoing hijinx.

As the love interests and main characters, Drew (Scott Beaudin) and Sherrie (Sarah Horsman) each get moments to strut - Horsman in particular finds her stride during Harden My Heart.

I’ll expand on all of this in my Herald review, and post a link here when that is live online and in the physical paper. 

Until then , I hope you’ve got a bit of a sense of what to expect with this wee review. 

Rock of Ages runs until June 25th at Stage West Calgary

4 out of 5 stars