Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rock of Ages: Musical Feast

Combine music with words and I'm in heaven. I love the theater. If I lived in New York City, I'd be Broadway poor. All of my time and money would be blown on theater tickets. However, it's quite pricey and so I dole out my meager allowance on some touring productions.

Dallas/Fort Worth is fortunate. It has excellent venues - Meyerson Symphony Hall, Bass Hall, old favorite The Majestic, and now new favorite Winspear Opera House. Forget Fair Park Music Hall. Never say never, but I vow to never fork out dough for their crappy acoustics and bad sight lines.

Back to the Winspear. Ray and I enjoyed a touring production of Rock of Ages and it was a blast from the past.

The original Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis (formerly on American Idol) starred as Drew, janitor of a bar/music hall who dreams of playing in a rock band. Sherrie (Elicia MacKenzie) is the girl from Nebraska who dreams of being an actress. The show is about dreams, and boy meets girl, falls in love, loses girl, re-discovers dreams, and ultimately gets the girl. Trust me, you know this from the very first song and are willing to go along for the ride. The nifty part of the mismash is if you lived through 80s rock, you'll know all of the tunes and rock cliches. You'll hum along, feel the love, and C'mon Feel the Noise.
The narrator, Lonny (Patrick Lewallen) has a great voice, sense of humor, and keeps the musical rolling along. We loved our gal, Oh Sherrie. (Yes, Drew sings this Journey anthem and we feel the longing.) Indeed, Elicia MacKenzie was a bright light in this show. Her voice on Harden My Heart was stirring.

More songs kept the cast wailing and the audience rocking - Can't Fight This Feeling, Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Heat of the Moment, Here I Go Again, I Wanna Rock, Nothin' But a Good Time, Sister Christian, Wanted Dead or Alive, and so on. Nothing wrong with using a classic frame, classic music, and creating entertainment.

All in all, it was a foot stomping, laser light, rock 'n roll fist pump.

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