Even if you didn’t live through them yourself, who doesn’t love the enduring music of the eighties? High energy, big hair, Lycra spandex, girlie shows, property developers, tree-huggers, music dreams and LA. “Rock of Ages” is the show that has it all.
Music from the electrifying eighties blares through the theatre from the moment you arrive. The open set is styled as The Bourbon Room, a famous live music venue on the Sunset Strip. It has the look and feel of the birthplace of rock ‘n roll that it claims to be. From the moment you enter the auditorium you are in the decade of dreams.
The Bourbon Room is about to preside over the last gig of its most famous product, glam rock band Arsenal, whose lead singer is Stacee Jaxx. Stacee Jaxx is a star and stars are undeniable – like herpes. Ladies love him, guys want to be him. But his band hates him.
Drew, who likes to go by his stage name, Wolfgang von Colt, is a bar hand at The Bourbon Room. His dream is to make it big as a rock ’n roll star in his own right. But does he want it badly enough? Drew’s rock star dreams become confused when he meets and falls for Sherrie, an ambitious young actress who is truly F.O.K.T (Fresh off the Kansas Train).
Justin Burford, ARIA award winning leader of Perth band The End of Fashion, plays the role of Drew. Man, you just have to get a load of the pipes on this guy. He packs a lot of energy into the role, wins the audience (and Sherrie) over with a smile and rocks out on classic 80’s songs like “Nothin’ But A Good Time”, “I Wanna Rock”, “Cum on Feel the Noise” and “Here I Go Again” mixing it up with ballads like “Waiting For A Girl Like You” and “Oh Sherrie”.
Amy Lehpalmer brings her own fantastic voice to Sherrie’s Kansas-girl-lost-in-LA. Working at The Bourbon Room – courtesy of Drew and her own fine arse which impresses Dennis Dupree, owner of the club – and finding friendship (or is it more?) with nice-guy Drew, Sherrie finds herself torn between her own dreams and the harsh LA world outside. An encounter with Stacee Jaxx in the gents at The Bourbon Room results in her being tossed to the wolves.
Lehpalmer struts a very fine figure on the stage and puts her powerful voice to good use in songs like “Wanted Dead Or Alive”, “Any Way You Want It” and “High Enough” and hits the right emotive levels on “Harden My Heart” and “I Hate Myself For Lovin’ You”.
The show is narrated for the audience by Lonny, played with a twinkle in his eye by Brent Hill. Lonny is the wise-cracking side-kick of club owner Dennis and does his best to stir up some mischief beyond the fourth wall with his constant byplay with the audience. Hill holds his own in the singing and dancing stakes, although the talent on this stage is just amazing.
Stacee Jaxx is played with a malevolent grin by Michael Falzon, star of “We Will Rock You” and now a much in demand actor on the London West End. Jaxx is the rock star who just needs a good smack in the mouth. Or will his physical torture involve other parts of his body?
This show is truly an ensemble piece with strong performances from all the cast, many of whom have amazing voices and awesome dance moves of their own. Look out for Joey Primo (Alexander Ellis), Regina (Francine Cain) and Waitress #1 (Samantha Hagen). Newcomer to professional music-theatre, Lincoln Hall plays the dominated son, Franz to David Whitney’s over-bearing father, Hertz. Hit Me With Your Best Shot in lycra leotards? Who would have thought?
Will Drew and Sherrie find each other? Can The Bourbon Club be saved from the clutches of German property developer, Hertz and his son, Franz? And what of the shock break-up of supergroup, Arsenal? The only way to find out is to head along to the classic Comedy Theatre and be there for The Final Countdown to stardom or oblivion.
Rock of Ages is now showing at the Comedy Theatre in Exhibition Street.
So do yourself a favour – take advantage of the newly released Student Special $39 tickets (available from the box office 2 hours prior to the show, cash only, 1 ticket per student ID) to get along for a night packed with fun, laughs and some of the best musical theatre you will see anywhere in the world.