“Good evening ladies, and gentlemen. This is Basti of Wolfgang. Welcome to ROCK OF AGES. Use of cellular phones and other electronic devices during the show is strictly forbidden. Unless of course you are incredibly hot, and willing to show us your BREASTS! Also, in the odd chance, due to the majestic rock of this show shall cause your stereos to burst into flames; please refrain from singing Def Leppard’s Pyromania. As we could not acquire any of the rights to their music. Thank you, and enjoy having your face melted!”
– Basti’s pre-curtain introduction to ROCK OF AGES (Manila)
I have never been a fan of rock, though there were a few exeptions. Webber’s Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar are some of the few who made it in the cut, and converted me somehow. But that was it.
Until last night, when Atlantis Productions gave us a new rock experience as it continues it’s exciting 2012 season with the critically acclaimed five-time Tony Award nominated Broadway musical, ROCK OF AGES, which opens in Manila today, June 15th. ROCK OF AGES is a hilarious, feel-good love story told thru such 80’s hit anthems like I Want To Know What Love Is, Don’t Stop Believin’, We Built This City, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, and Every Rose Has Its Thorn.
In the show, it is 1987 on the Sunset Strip in LA. Drew, a young busboy dreams of being a rock star while he works at the Strip’s most famous bar, The Bourbon Room. There, he meets Sherrie, a small-town girl who goes to LA to pursue her dreams of being an actress. They fall in love and then lose each other when the (in)famous, sexy, over the top rock star, Stacee Jaxx comes into the picture.
Giving life to these roles in this local producation are three powerhouse performers. Singer and songwriter Nyoy Volante, fresh off his triumphant turn as Usnavi in IN THE HEIGHTS plays Drew. Recording artist and film and tv star Vina Morales brings the energetic song and dance performances she is known for to the theater for the first time as Sherrie, and international rock sensation MiG Ayesa returns to his homeland to play Stacee Jaxx, a role he played on Broadway which he creates anew for the Manila production.
Their love story plays against the backdrop of the music, the wild nights and the energy of the Sunset Strip in the 80’s where we meet a bunch of very colorfu,l so-80s characters:
The show’s ‘dramatic conjurer’ or narrator, Lonny is played by Philippine rock icon, Jett Pangan. Theater’s new favorite dramatic leading man now gets the chance to bring his rock and roll roots to the stage!
Lonny works at the Bourbon Room alongside bar owner Dennis Dupree who will be played by veteran theater actor, Jamie Wilson.
Threatening to close down the Bourbon Room to turn the Strip into a ‘model of clean and efficient living’ are father and son German developers, Hertz and Franz. Singer and musical theatre actor Calvin Millado plays the tightly wound tycoon Hertz following his very moving performance as Kevin in IN THE HEIGHTS. Bibo Reyes, whose breakthrough performance as Sonny in IN THE HEIGHTS earned high praise from audiences, continues to conquer the theater scene as Franz, the young tycoon-in-training who soon gets caught between pleasing his father and following his heart.
Passionately protesting against these developers is bohemian activist Regina. Award winning singer and songwriter Aiza Seguerra returns to theater performing as Regina. Last seen on the Atlantis stage in AVENUE Q, you will see Aiza as you have never seen her before! PROMISE!!!
Down the road from Bourbon Room is the Venus Club — a haven for ‘gentlemen,’ rockstars ad every persuasion in between. This club is run by diva and wise sage, Justice Charlier. Running with this part will be the unstoppable energetic international stage star Jinky Llamanzares.
Rounding off this dream cast is a mix of champion singers and theater performers — Apple Chiu, Japs Treopaldo, Mikkie Bradshaw, Berl William Angeles and Altaire Alonso.
Directed by Chari Arespacochaga, Atlantis Productions’ ROCK OF AGES promises to be musical theater like you’ve never seen and heard before! It brings a new dimension to the 80s rock, as we know it. A celebration of a fad almost gone. Yes, it has the hair-band rockers and, yes, its cheesy storyline absolutely echoes those dumb 80s movies; but the undeniably fantastic performances by our local cast, combined with a great 80s repertoire, make this local production an unforgettable smash. As the song goes, it it going to be ‘nothing but a good time’ and this good time comes to Manila!
Atlantis Productions’ staging of ROCK OF AGES runs from June 15 to July 8 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater at the RCBC Plaza in Makati. For tickets and inquires call Atlantis Productions at 8927078.