‘Rock of Ages’ rocks Vilar Center audiences at Beaver Creek
There aren’t many musicals like “Rock of Ages.”
Sure, you’ve got “Mamma Mia!” featuring the songs of ABBA, but having the opportunity to rock out to songs like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” provides an experience unlike anything else.
The show, which came to the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Thursday, tells the story of a young duo, Drew and Sherri, searching for fame in Los Angeles in 1987 (roughly). Along the way, Drew’s friends Lonny and Dennis persuade fading rock star Stacee Jaxx to perform at their club to avoid being bought out, and Regina fights the gentrification of Sunset Strip.
The show is written to be silly, even eye-roll-worthy, but that’s exactly what makes it so fun. Outrageously high hairdos and neon outfits look like something straight out of a high school yearbook, and Lonny’s narration often reminds the audience of the general rock ‘n’ roll attitude of the ’80s.
Kristina Walz as Regina was the best part of the show, and Chris Renald’s Franz — the son of German developer and antagonist Hertz — also provided some of the show’s biggest laughs.
Additionally, “Here I Go Again” and “Don’t Stop Believin'” brought the audience to their feet.
This particular production served as a stop on the show’s 10th-anniversary tour, heading all across the country and into Canada. While the production value was high and the show is totally unique from any other live musical you’ll see, it doesn’t quite have the heavy-hitting gravitas of an original touring production, as was obvious in the choreography. In addition, some notes were flubbed every once in a while.
The brilliance of the show lies within the fact that its mistakes can be chalked up to the show’s intentional laughability, so anything that looked cheap or ingenuine could easily be shaken off, making for a highly rewarding performance with little to complain about.
Arts & Entertainment Editor Nate Day can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-748-2932.