Thru June 25th
Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
And laughs. And face melting vocals. And so much fun!
If you want to have “Nothin’ But a Good Time”, Cain Park’s Rock of Ages is the place to be. From the minute the pre-show announcement starts, you know you are in for one hell of a ride, and as soon as the cast appears, you are in on the action. (Even more so if you snag the ‘in’ stage mosh pit seats!) This ensemble cast is absolutely phenomenal, and there isn’t a moment that goes by in this whirlwind of 80’s classics, big hair, and tight pants that isn’t filled with high energy fun.
Rock of Ages is the story of Drew and Sherrie, two small town kids looking for their dreams to come true in Los Angeles, and the cast of characters that shape their new lives on the Sunset Strip. Shane Lonergan and Lauren Ashley Berry are the adorable, star-crossed lovebirds and they are delightful together on stage. Lonergan is sweet and charming as the wannabe rocker, and Berry is fluffy haired perfection as the naive wannabe actress.
Along the way we meet Douglas F. Bailey II’s Lonny, our narrator for the evening, who draws the audience in from the moment he appears. If you’re not having a good time, he’ll make sure you do. Philip Michael Carroll’s Dennis Dupree is his perfect match as the owner of Dupree’s Bourbon Room, the beloved rock ‘n roll club on the Sunset Strip. (Their second act duet is not to be missed.)
But of course, no story is complete without a little villainy, and these antagonists are played out brilliantly by Kevin Kelly and David Turner as Hertz and Franz Klinemann. Kelly and Turner are the father son duo you never knew you always needed to have in your life. Their comedic timing is flawless both together and individually, and it is fantastic to watch.
Hertz is a real estate developer who’s come to clean up the Strip, which means destroying the legendary Bourbon Room. Of course, that won’t happen without a fight. And leading that fight is Regina, city planner turned resistance leader, played in beautiful protester glory by Neely Gevaart.
David Turner, David James Grant, Neely Gevaart, Kevin Kelly
To save the club, Dennis, Lonny and Drew try to come up with something that will show these interlopers that Dupree’s Bourbon room needs to stick around, so Dennis calls an old acquaintance, Stacee Jaxx, to convince him to have his band’s farewell performance at the club. Jaxx, played to glam rock front-man awesomeness by Connor Bogart O’Brien, oozes pure rock star from the moment he appears with his fawning groupies.
As the story plays out, conflict, misunderstanding, and rock ‘n roll lead to not always perfect moments for our lovers, and Sherrie ends up out of a job and alone, when she meets Justice, the ‘takes no sh*t’, but golden hearted proprietor of a neighboring gentleman’s club. Trinidad Snider as Justice is a magnificent sight to behold.
The members of the ensemble, Meredith Zahn, Natalie Girard, Brooke Turner, David James Grant (on opening night for Lavour Addison), Tony Heffner, Grace Hunt, and Alec Chock Irion, kill it with every head bang and jazz hand making this show an absolute blast from beginning to end! The band, lead by musical director Jordan Cooper, rock out just as hard as the cast from a top the stage, so you never forget you are at a rock concert, that also happens to be a wonderfully self-aware and self-deprecating musical/80’s music video.
Director Joanna May Hunkins has put together a stunning, multi-talented cast and crew that makes for a side-splittingly fun evening of theatre and rock, and Kevin D. Marr II’s choreography adds the final touch of rock moves to round out the atmosphere. Tesia Dugan Benson’s marvelous costumes and wigs outfit everyone in all the 1980’s glory possible. Trad A Burns’ set and lighting make the absolute most of the space and let you know what you are in for as soon as you step through the flaps. Carlton Guc does an excellent job with the sound design and balancing out the rock band back up and vocals. On opening night, the dialogue sometimes got lost in the mix of transitions and music, which I’m sure will get worked out over the coming performances.
David James Grant, Neely Gevaart, David Turner, Kevin Kelly, Meredith Zahn, Lauren Berry, Doug Bailey, Shane Lonergan, Connor Bogart O’Brien, Natalie Gerard, Phil Carroll, Brooke Turner
Over the top in the best possible way, and with some fun surprises, Rock of Ages will have you singing and rockin’ along the whole time. You only have until June 25th to let this sublime cast take you “High Enough”, so grab your jean vest, feather out those bangs, and make your way to Cain Park for this nostalgic blast from the past, filled with classic songs you know and love. Just be ready to have “Don’t Stop Believin’” in your head for a few days.
Reviewer: Kate Michalski, CSA Street Team. http://www.ClevelandStageAlliance.com
$30-$32 Reserved Seating
Alma Theatre at Cain Park
14591 Superior Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118
Director: Joanna May Hunkins