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Rock of Ages

August 11, 2014
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RockOfAges1Event: “Rock of Ages” The Musical
Venue: Resorts World Theatre @ RWS
Run: 6th – 24th Aug 2014

Come On Feel The Noise

Fans of 80’s rock music are in for a real treat in the form of the Broadway musical “Rock of Ages”, which opened at the Resorts World Theatre last week.

It’s an unabashed jukebox musical celebrating the essence of 80’s rock, and some might recall there was also a recent film in 2012 (based on this same musical) starring Tom Cruise.

The plot centres around aspiring rocker Drew (played by Dominique Scott) who finds a job at The Bourbon Room and meets Sherrie (Shannon Mullen), whom he soon falls in love with, although he fails to make his feelings explicitly clear to her.

Rock superstar Stacee Jaxx (Joshua Hobbs) then arrives on the scene and sets forth a tumultuous series of events, which includes snatching Sherrie away from Drew.

As with most jukebox musicals, the plot is often subservient to the songs, which are the main stars of the show.

It did get a bit awkward though, seeing how Sherrie suddenly bursts into Extreme’s “More Than Words” while taking a phone call, with her colleague then launching into Mr Big’s “To Be With You” just a few moments later.

At times it did feel like the song placement was a bit contrived, and that the writers tried to cram one too many rock hits into the show.

And while the songs which were drawn out at length definitely struck the deepest emotional chords (“Waiting For A Girl Like You”, “High Enough”, “Can’t Fight This Feeling”), most of the songs featured just short snippets and thus did not give the listener the full emotional experience as compared to if the songs were played in their entirety.

Nonetheless, the cast and musicians delivered as fine a performance as you could ever ask for in a musical as demanding as this, with impossibly high vocal registers and virtuosic demands on guitars and keyboards (hey, it’s the 80’s).

Dominique Scott, who ironically is a dead ringer for Tom Cruise, completely nails all the high notes with consummate ease, while Joshua Hobbs looks and sounds every bit the 80’s superstar lead singer reincarnate.

Special mention goes also to Justin Colombo who plays Lonny, who is not only as hilarious as they come, but also has an impressive set of pipes to boot.

And the band – my goodness – how on earth they managed to nail the 31-song setlist with such effortless mastery is completely beyond me.

“Rock of Ages” is one of those guilty pleasures – especially if you lived through the heady days of 80’s rock music – performed by an exceptionally talented and gifted cast.

It’s an opportunity to relive the wild days of big hair, crazy fashion, insane vocals, excessive musical virtuosity, and over-the-top emotionalism.

You may hate yourself for loving it, but one thing’s for sure – you can’t fight the feeling any longer.

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