Grand Opera House York – until Saturday 27th April.
Reviewed by Michelle Richardson
Based around the hit film of the same name, this is by far more entertaining, Rock of Ages hit York with all it’s 80’s glam rock style. Resplendent in song, clothing and hair. The story is built around the classic rock bands that were around during that time, such as Bon Jovi, Poison and Journey, and rock ballads they produced, trust me you will know the majority of the tunes.
Set in LA, with the main focus being the Bourbon Room, it is essentially a love story between wannabe actress Sherrie (Jodie Steele) and wannabe rock star Drew aka Wolfgang Von Colt (Luke Walsh). They both really want to be together, but cannot express their true feelings, so end up hurting each other, going their separate ways and their dreams of success being so far from reality.
The Bourbon Room is owned by Dennis (Kevin Kennedy), most noted for playing loveable Curly Watts in Coronation Street. Once he got going as the old faded rock star, he was hilarious and could belt out the old tune. His side-kick and narrator of the show, was Lonny (Lucas Rush). Rush was on stage for most of the show and was the highlight. He was absolutely fantastic as the over the top, camp Lonny, interacting with the audience with ease, he had us all in stitches. I absolutely loved his performance, even when he lost his trousers. I must say that his performance is my absolute favourite of all time, in all the shows I have seen, so far. LOVED it.
We see father and son team, Hertz (Vas Constanti) and Franz (Andrew Carthy, with his pearly white gnashers), wanting to redevelop the strip and knock down the Bourbon Room. To try and fight the closure and raise some much needed funds, Dennis persuades rock band Arsenal and their lead singer Stacee Jaxx, to play their last gig at his venue, before they go their separate ways. Anthony Costa, formerly of Blue, has just taken over this role from Kevin Clifton. Obliviously, as in all these shows, thing all turn out right in the end, the bar staying open, even after the demise of Dennis and the lovestruck getting their act together.
This show certainly captivated the audience right from the start, though at times it sailed very close to the wind. There is quite a bit of sexual content within the show, pushing it up to over 18’s only, that I did find a bit uncomfortable at times. Some of the female costumes were sure skimpy, I never realised that shorts could be so tight and sooooo short. The objectification of the women at times also left me feeling a bit uneasy, but ultimately I worked through that and just enjoyed the show. I sound like a right prude, trust me I’m not. The whole cast were captivating and they could belt out some tunes, giving justice to the old rock ballads. The energy in the dance was quite striking, I especially enjoyed watching Bobby Winderbank and his physicality.
This is a fun, feel good show, with plenty of energy. It had us all up on our feet, singing and dancing in the finale and one I can recommend, just be warned of the sexual content.