Big hair, loud fashion, and louder music…yes, those were some of the trends in the 80s. But it’s the music of hard rock, glam metal, and heavy metal that defined a generation of dreamers and wannabe rockers.
If you grew up during the 80s, then you must fondly remember the defiant music that was the soundtrack of your teenage years. Now, you have the chance to relive your youth and rock out at the premiere of “Rock of Ages” presented by Broadway San Jose.
Set in the Bourbon Room in 1987, “Rock of Ages” is the rock-com (rock-comedy) love-story between Sherrie (Shannon Mullan), a small-town girl coming to the big city of Los Angeles to pursue—like countless other young women—dreams of being an actress, and Drew (Dominique Scott), a city-boy with his own dreams of ditching the broom as a busboy and making it big as a rock star. As the two pursue their dreams and also each other, Stacee Jaxx (Universo Pereira)-—the head singer of the band Arsenal—enters the picture and puts a damper on the budding love of Sherrie and Drew. As all rockers of that era, Stacee Jaxx had women throwing themselves at him, and Sherrie, lost in the glamor of it all, lost herself in him, too. But this love story, like most, has a happy ending, as Sherrie realizes she made a mistake in getting caught up in the hype that is Stacee Jaxx, and realizes she loves Drew.
The entire ensemble of “Rock of Ages” did not miss a single beat, as they revived 28 legendary rock songs including “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “We Built This City”, “The Final Countdown”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Here I Go Again”, “Harden My Heart”, “Can’t Fight this Feeling”, “Renegade” and “I Want To Know What Love Is”. With this compilation, it was impossible for audience members not to sing along to the songs that defined their teenage years.
Although all cast members played each of their parts to perfection—from the dancing, acting, and particularly, the vocals, three cast members especially stood out, as they shined like rhinestones on a leather jacket.
Justin Colombo who played Lonny, the hilarious narrator of the story and one of the Bourbon Room’s barkeeps, helped keep the pace of the story as well as provide comic relief throughout the entire performance. His physicality on stage and quick and sarcastic wit made him one of the most memorable characters on the show.
Shannon Mullon (Sherrie) played the role of the small-town girl learning to adapt to big city life just as tight as her thigh-high leather boots. She learned quite fast that, to make it in this town, she had to first sacrifice a part of her innocence in order to do what she had to to survive. Thankfully, in the end, things change in her favor, and she reunites with her love interest, Drew (Dominique Scott).
Dominique Scott (Drew) was the break-out star of the show thanks to his flawless vocals. He truly belt out all the rock songs as well as—if not better than—the original singers. His dynamic voice made watching him a pleasure. He also performed the love-sick, wannabe rockstar-dreamer to a tee. Everyone was rooting for him to get the girl (Sherrie), and to see his dreams become a reality. Like Sherrie, things work out for Drew, and not only does he get the girl, but he gets to rock-and-roll all night as the new act at the Bourbon Room.
The costumes, lighting and set brought the 80s back to life. The neon lights, fog machines, memorabilia on the set walls, and, of course, the music, enlivened an era that will forever rock.
So, if you are a fan of rock music or grew up in the 80s and want to relive those formidable rebellious years, then “Rock of Ages” is the show in which to rock-out and let loose.
“Rock of Ages” runs through February 3, 2013.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: http://www.broadwaysanjose.com/shows/rock-of-ages.html
Performance Review by Sophia M. Papadopoulos