Through September 25|
ROCK OF AGES D’Youville University/Kavinoky Theatre
Do you remember the 80’s?
Do you remember the endless flows of shows about romance in Hollywood?
That’s all what “Rock of Ages” is about, love and romance in the demimonde of the Sunset Strip.
It’s really, really loud and really, really bright and thoroughly entertaining.
Kavinoky Impresario Loraine O’Donnell was so impressed with the show that she’s in it and Lynne Kurdziel-Formato does her usual wonderful thing as the director and choreographer.
Because this is the opening show of the fall theater season, “Rock of Ages” must have been rehearsed for more than the usual three weeks or so to make this show work so well.
Creator Chris D’Arienzo mixed romance, music and a really sleazy German developer (Gregory Gjurich), who bribes the mayor of Los Angeles (Lorenzo Shawn Parnell) to approve leveling the dive bars and stripper joints and hangouts of the Sunset Strip.
Then he mixed in what the program describes as “a bunch of really sweet 80’s bands.”
The parents of most of the performers in the show would probably remember some of those bands whose music is used, Quiet Riot, David Lee Roth, Styx, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister and a lot of others.
Mary McMahon did a ton of work on the hair and wigs for this show to make it clear this went back to the long-haired and noisy music of the era, along with Andrea Letcher’s costumes.
This is the story of the aging owner of the Bourbon Room, Dennis (Christopher Guilmet) and his chief assistant Lonny (Dan Urtz), who serves as narrator of the tangled tale of music, love, lust and money.
Drew (Ricky Needham) cleans the place and dreams of being up on the bandstand where the loudest bands around perform.
Sherrie (Bethany Burrows) is a kid from the Heartland determined to make it in LA.
As her stint in the big strip club on the block shows, she will do anything to make it.
That’s after she and Drew collide and bounce instead of hooking up.
She has already hooked up with the druggie leader of Arsenal, Stacee Jax (a wonderful Anthony Alcocer), who loves them and leaves them, a lot, without much regard to how old they are.
Okay, love and loss.
Where have we heard that before?
There’s also that German developer and his effeminate son Franz (Jamil Kassem-Lopez), who just wants to find love and operate a candy store back in Germany, while Dad wants to redevelop LA for him.
This is all told to that pounding rock and the flashing lights and the massive digital screen for which the Kav is known.
It’s all really well done and entertaining even though you have that urge to put on your sunglasses and ear plugs.
I can’t imagine what this all does to the hearing of the musicians on stage.
While not necessarily in the traditional Kavinoky pattern, “Rock of Ages” is a great and strong jukebox musical.
And, after all, isn’t mating supposed to be loud and noisy?
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