This past Saturday I saw the touring production of “Rock Of Ages” in Clearwater, FL. I’m a huge fan of 80’s music, hair metal, and the combination was the showcase for my first major Broadway play. WOW! such an incredible experience! The production was flawless and the acoustics at Ruth Eckerd Hall were dynamic and clear. Dominique Scott played Drew, the wanna-be rocker who fell in love with Sherry, the small town girl trying to make it big on L.A.’s Sunset Strip. On my night’s performance, Christie Schwartzman, the petite spitfire understudy, took over the lead role and combined a sweet wholesome image with a secret wild side. The play was so funny as the narrator often broke down the 4th wall and got the audience involved with lots of inside jokes.
Non-stop music, adult humor, and the dancers’ choreography shined in multiple group numbers. They even did a enticing routine on the stripper pole! Each cast member committed 100% to their roles and it was SO MUCH FUN, as the packed auditorium laughed and sang along the whole night. Special shout out to Amma Osei, who played the same role that Mary J Blige took on in the movie. Her dynamic, powerful, gospel infused voice changed the way I’ll ever hear Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”.
Of course, the highlight of the production is the seamless intertwining of the 80’s power ballads and hard rock anthem lyrics into the theme of the love story. “Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit”….. “What do you want to do with your life, I Wanna Rock”…….”…..”Cause I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride”……”I’ve been waiting for a girl like you”…….”….. “No I don’t know where I’m going, but I sure know where I’ve been”….. “Hear the DJ say it’s a game of easy come and go”……”You’re motoring, what’s your price for flight”….. “working hard to get my thrill, everybody wants to win”.
Here’s some of the originals that inspired the Broadway play and the just released DVD starring Tom Cruise as Stacey Jaxx:
“TONY AWARDS PERFORMANCE WITH THE ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST”
“HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT” CATHERINE ZETA JONES
“SISTER CHRISTIAN / JUST LIKE PARADISE / NOTHING BUT A GOOD TIME”
“HATE MYSELF FOR LOVING YOU/HEAT OF THE MOMENT” TOURING CAST