Review by Keridwyn Deller:
If you like music from 80s bands such as Styx, Whitesnake, Poison, Foreigner, Joan Jett, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, and more, get your tickets to what will likely be one of your favorite musical productions: Rock of Ages at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
The cast of this rock-concert-comedy-musical is stunning and brings the show to life like no other production of this show I’ve seen. Sherrie is played by Diana Huey who makes hitting those notes seem easy (you may recognize her from her performance as The Little Mermaid – she’s fantastic) – Huey makes the character very likable (which isn’t always the case in how this role has been performed in other productions).
Her love interest is played by Galen Disston (from Seattle band Pickwick – now I get what all the buzz about this musician is about! Wow! Music fans of Starship/Jefferson Starship will recognize musician Mickey Thomas in the role of Dennis. Great casting all around. The whole ensemble truly rocks.
So does the lighting and set (the set has some fantastic built-in surprises, wait for it!). And the costumes and wigs deserve their own applause: so often this type of show will feature costumes/wigs that are cartoonish – not the case here. Look for some fun details in the costumes which will delight true 80s fans (thanks to my theatre date Joy for pointing some of them out to me!).
The star of the show is Dane Stokinger who just NAILS the role of the narrator Lonny. He OWNS it. You can feel the audience get a little bit of giddy anticipation each time he came back on stage, which, lucky for us, is often. There is a balance, flow, and connection in the cast that makes the show work so well – you get the feeling that everyone truly has fun working together to create this piece of pure entertainment. Special shout outs to Brandon O’Neill for being the rock star you love to hate, Nik Hagen for bringing the charm, and Trina Mills for being so much fun to watch in every number she’s in.
My only question is: why didn’t a kiss (only a hug?) didn’t happen between two characters like it has in other productions?!
Treat yourself. Use code DOWNTOWN for performances on 2/13 and 2/14 and get a huge discount on tickets ($20 each for great seats!)
Show runs now through February 24, 2019. Tickets and info here.
Rock of Ages at The 5th Avenue hits all the right notes and will have you smiling for days.
Can I go back again before it closes? Really, I want to. This particular production has claimed a spot in my Top-10 shows I’ve seen live (and that’s saying a lot).
Photos by Tracy Martin