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Rock of Ages is a rock/jukebox musical, with a book by Chris D'Arienzo, built around classic rock hits from the 1980s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of the decade. The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Asia, among other well-known rock bands[714594]. It is directed by Kristin Hanggi and choreographed by Kelly Devine with music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Ethan Popp. The show is noted for being more lighthearted and comedic than other shows on Broadway. During performance, the performers frequently break the "fourth wall", directly addressing the audience and seemingly forgetting (or perhaps reminding the audience) that they are actors in a play.

Production history

The musical premiered in Los Angelesmarker at The Vanguard Hollywood in January 2006 where it played for six weeks. Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde) played the role of Sherrie in this early production. The Off-Broadway run began at New World Stages in New York City on October 16, 2008 and ran through January 4, 2009, featuring Constantine Maroulis, Paul Schoeffler and Will Swenson in the cast.

The production transferred to Broadwaymarker's Brooks Atkinson Theatremarker with previews beginning March 20, 2009, officially opening on April 7, 2009. It is slated to open in the West End in 2010

The show's band had significant stage time compared to other show's bands and orchestras. The band was dressed up like typical metal heads as Stacee's back up band and they would always be on stage. The drummer was placed inside a cage that said at the top, "Do not feed the drummer" as a joke. One of the guitarists in the stage band, Joel Hoekstra, is a member of Night Ranger, whose song "Sister Christian" is performed in the show.

The film rights have been sold to New Line Cinema. The film will be directed by Hairspray film director Adam Shankman and is expecetd to begin production in the Summer of 2010, for release in 2011..

The musical is scheduled to open at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Torontomarker, Ontariomarker, Canada, in April 2010.

Synopsis

Act 1

Narrator Lonny sets up the story: In the late 1980s, an aspiring rocker, Drew, works as a busboy in the Hollywood bar/club The Bourbon Room, owned by Dennis ("Just Like Paradise/Nothing But A Good Time"). He falls instantly for a cute girl, Sherrie, who arrives from Kansasmarker hoping to make it big in acting ("Sister Christian). After being hired by the bar, Sherrie urges Drew to go after his dreams ("I Wanna Rock").

German city developers, Hertz and his son Franz, convince the city's mayor to abandon the "sex, drugs and rock-n-roll" lifestyle of the Sunset Strip to introduce "clean living" into the area, much to the anger of the Mayor's city planner, Regina. ("We Built This City"). It is revealed that the Bourbon will be torn down in the process, and Dennis comes up with the idea to get money by having rock star Stacee Jaxx play his last show with his band Arsenal there ("Too Much Time On My Hands"). Regina begins protesting Hertz and Franz ("We're Not Gonna Take It").

Meanwhile, Sherrie can't get along with her parents over the phone, and Drew struggles to write lyrics that mean something ("More Than Words/To Be With You/Heaven"). Sherrie then accepts Drew's invitation to have a picnic at a place overlooking Los Angeles ("Waiting For A Girl Like You"). There, he mistakenly suggests that the two are just friends to calm their nerves, disappointing both of them and ruining the date.

Stacee Jaxx arrives at the Bourbon and gives an interview about his life ("Wanted Dead Or Alive"). Thinking she means nothing to Drew, Sherrie is immediately smitten. The two end up having sex in the men's bathroom ("I Want To Know What Love Is"). Subsequently, Drew proves his musical ability in the club and is chosen to open for Stacee. Stacee tells Dennis to fire Sherrie before Arsenal begins performing, and his guitarist ends up knocking him out. A record producer in the club suggests Drew take over, and then offers him a contract, which he accepts, and he angrily brushes off Sherrie when she is fired ("Cum On Feel The Noize"). Regina continues protesting ("We're Not Gonna Take It [Reprise]").

An upset Sherrie meets Justice, the owner of a nearby strip club (though she clearly prefers the term "gentleman's club") called the Venus Club. She relates to Sherrie's story, saying that many of the small-town girls hoping to hit it big in LA end up making a living as strippers. Much to her dislike, she accepts Justice's offer to work in her club ("Harden My Heart/Shadows of the Night"). Everyone finds themselves alone - Drew signing with the record company, Sherrie fending for herself, Regina protesting, Dennis defending his club ("Here I Go Again").

Act 2

Hertz and Franz begin demolition on the sunset strip, alienating them from each other as Franz falls for Regina and sees "the error of their ways". Dennis and Lonny join in the fight with little success ("The Final Countdown"). Meanwhile, Drew's rocker image is upsetting the record producer, and Sherrie is learning how things work at the Venus Club ("Any Way You Want It/I Wanna Rock [Reprise]"). They meet on the street, Sherrie embarrassed with her job and Drew admitting that his record company is turning his image to that of a boy band. They argue and Sherrie admits that she was crazy about Drew, but he said they were friends. They sadly part ways ("High Enough").

Stacee arrives at the Venus Club and is pleased to see Sherrie there, and after being forced to give him a lapdance, she subsequently beats him up while dancing ("I Hate Myself For Loving You/Heat Of The Moment"). Drew arrives to admit his feelings to her, but become disheartened when he sees the two in a suggestive position. Justice later tells Drew that as soon as he left, Sherrie punched Stacee in the jaw.

Regina continues her protest against the destruction of the Strip, but yields no success. She convinces Franz to stand up to his father if he does not believe in this cause. Franz admits he's had dreams of his own, namely to open a confectioner's store back home in Germany. He finally rebels against his father and admits his love for Regina ("Hit Me With Your Best Shot"). Dennis and Lonny, upset at the loss of The Bourbon Club, hilariously suggest they had feelings for each other ("Can't Fight This Feeling").

Sherrie decides to leave the strip club after upsetting Drew, and Justice tells her that she had a similar experience with her first love. Everyone is upset as they move on with their lives ("Every Rose Has Its Thorn"). Drew realizes none of his dreams have come true- he still isn't a rock star, and Sherrie has left for a midnight train. Lonny arrives to tell him to make his own destiny; its up to him to get the girl. He decides to go after Sherrie ("Oh Sherrie"). He reaches her in time, and they realize their love was always there, and forgive each other ("The Search Is Over").

In the end, The Bourbon Room is spared demolition and washed-up Stacee Jaxx (who has been charged with statutory rape) has since moved to Uruguay. ("Renegade") Franz makes up with Hertz, and opens his confectionery store in Germany. He and Regina have a long distance relationship. Dennis passes away. Sherrie and Drew move to Glendale and have a child, and Lonny notes how in Los Angeles, sometimes the dreams you come with aren't always the dreams you leave with, but they still rock ("Don't Stop Believin").

Original Broadway cast

The 2008 cast.
  • Constantine Maroulis - Drew
  • Amy Spanger - Sherrie
  • James Carpinello - Stacee Jaxx/Sherrie's Father
  • Adam Dannheisser - Dennis/Record Company Man
  • Mitchell Jarvis - Lonny/Narrator/Record Company Man
  • Michele Mais - Justice/Sherrie's Mother
  • Lauren Molina - Regina/Candi
  • Wesley Taylor - Franz
  • Paul Schoeffler - Hertz


Broadway Cast Replacement History

  • Savannah Wise replaced Amy Spanger in the role of Sherrie on June 8, 2009
  • Don Stephenson replaced Paul Schoeffler in the role of Hertz on August 17, 2009
  • Tom Lenk replaced Wesley Taylor in the role of Franz on September 18, 2009 (until February 2010)
  • Kerry Butler replaced Savannah Wise in the role of Sherrie September 18, 2009 (until February 2010)
  • Paul Schoeffler returns to the role of Hertz on October 26, 2009.
  • Constantine Maroulis will depart the role of Drew in June 2010.


Musical numbers

Act I


Act II


+ - not on Broadway Cast Recording

The song "Rock of Ages" by Def Leppard is not in the musical because Universal Music Group did not allow the producers to get licenses for their songs.

Awards and nominations

The show was nominated for five Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Constantine Maroulis, Best Direction of a Musical for Kristin Hanggi, Best Costume Design for Gregory Gale and Best Sound Design for Peter Hylenski, but did not win any. It also received two Drama League nominations: Distinguished Production of a Musical and Distinguished Performance for Constantine Maroulis , as well as two Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Wesley Taylor In June 2009, The Boulevard Magazine featured Rock of Ages as their June - July 2009 Cover with inside features on Constantine Maroulis and Director Kristin Hanggi

On July 1, 2009, after a matinee performance of Rock of Ages, the cast set a new Guinness World Record for the Largest Air Guitar Ensemble. A total of 810 participants, including audience members and fans, shattered the previous record of 440 people playing air guitar simultaneously.

Golden Mullet Awards

On October 26, 2009, the show hosted the first annual "Golden Mullet Awards" after the 8pm performance. Billed as "Broadway's fourth biggest night", the show gave out "Golden Mullets" (a mock of the Tony Award) to the best on Broadway. Many of the categories that used for the awards were also puns of songs from Rock of Ages itself.

The winners were:
  • Nothin' But A Kick-Ass Band - Arsenal (Rock Of Ages)
  • Can't Fight This Feeling to Touch Your Hair - Will Swenson ( Hair)
  • Waiting For A Villian Like You - Christopher Sieber ( Shrek the Musical)
  • Cast Most Likely to Dance On a Car in a Whitesnake Video - In The Heights
  • Best "In The Heat Of The Moment" Moment - Constantine Maroulis and Kerry Butler (Rock Of Ages)


One more award was presented to Bret Michaels of the band Poison in jest of his infamous injury at the 2009 Tony Awards, where after he was finished performing with the cast of Rock Of Ages, a descending set piece knocked him down and broke his nose.

References

  1. Broadway world reviewwww.broadwayworld.com
  2. New World Stages websitenewworldstages.com
  3. Rock of Ages Storms To Broadway 4/7, Previews Begin 3/20www.broadwayworld.com
  4. Rock of Ages Bang up for 2010 London Opening???
  5. Photo Coverage: 'ROCK OF AGES' Meets the Press BroadwayWorld.com March 4, 2009broadwayworld.com
  6. Hetrick, Adam. "Shankman Will Direct Rock of Ages on Screen"playbill.com, October 20, 2009
  7. Official site of Rock of Agesrockofagesmusical.com, retrieved December 1, 2009
  8. "Nominees and Winners-The Shows",tonyawards.com, accessed May 12, 2009
  9. "The Drama League Awards, 2009",dramaleague.org, accessed May 12, 2009
  10. Lipton, B. "Billy Elliot, Shrek Top Outer Critics Circle Award"theatermania.com, May 11, 2009
  11. The Boulevard Magazine [1]


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