Rock of Ages on Broadway: Tickets, reviews and video

Squeeze into your Spandex and bang your mullet at Rock of Ages, New York theater's awesomely silly homage to '80s heavy metal and power pop.

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Rock of Ages on Broadway: Photos

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

Photograph: Paul Kolnik

Rock of Ages on Broadway: Buy tickets

Rock of Ages on Broadway: Show information

Helen Hayes Theatre. Book by Chris D'Arienzo. Dir. Kristin Hanggi. With Justin Matthew Sargent and Kate Rockwell. 2hrs 20mins. One intermission.


Of the few jukebox musicals to find long-term success on Broadway (others are Mamma Mia! and Jersey Boys), Rock of Ages is easily the scruffiest and most shameless. Whereas other shows assembled from existing pop songbooks make a pretense of building a story, out of which familiar songs organically emerge, Rock of Ages revels in its silliness, retro sight gags and anything-for-a-laugh repurposing of ’80s hits from the likes of Journey, Styx and Guns N’ Roses. It’s almost ironic: The plot is a classic boy-meets-new-girl-in-town narrative you’ll find in countless musicals. Set in 1987 in the Hollywood bar The Bourbon Room, the story follows busboy Drew Boley, who dreams of one day melting faces and shredding guitars in his very own band. Drew falls hard for cute L.A. transplant Sherrie Christian (cue “Sister Christian” and “Oh, Sherrie”). Then the womanizing frontman Stacee Jaxx threatens to steal Sherrie’s heart—or some more relevant body part. Book writer Chris D’Arienzo stuffs his raunchy plot with sleazy singers, skanky groupies, uptight city officials and ambiguously homosexual bar owners. By Broadway and New York theater standards, Rock of Ages may not be classy or tasteful, but it’s a primo group outing. If you love big hair, cock rock, audience sing-alongs or ordering drinks from waitresses in the aisle, Rock of Ages is your Poison.—David Cote

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Read our full review of Rock of Ages and see showtimes

Address
Helen Hayes Theatre
240 W 44th St
Midtown West
New York

Cross street
between Broadway and Eighth Ave

Phone
212-239-6200

Website
hayestheatre.com

Transportation
Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority; N, Q, R, 42nd St S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St–Times Sq
 
How to get to the Helen Hayes Theatre


Rock of Ages on Broadway review

The new jukebox musical Rock of Ages, which crams 30 hard-hitting ’80s hits into a self-consciously campy romantic comedy, knows its demo. For anyone who threw devil horns at a Quiet Riot concert, had their ears shredded by Eddie Van Halen’s awesome fretwork or felt their heart bursting from Steve Perry’s caterwauling, this slick package is cock-rock nirvana. And if a two-hour set of pulse-quickening covers isn’t enough, there are strippers, a funny narrator (Mitchell Jarvis, ripping off Jack Black’s spaz-rocker shtick) and—for the ladies out there—American Idol cutie Constantine Maroulis. Yes, the ingredients are all fast-food leftovers. But mixed together and nuked for three minutes, they are quite tasty.

You may be surprised to learn that there’s a book to Rock of Ages. And yet Chris D’Arienzo makes a good-faith offering of actual characters who are somehow motivated to launch into renditions of “We Built This City” and “Cum on Feel the Noize.” The ridiculous plot involves German developers who want to raze Los Angeles’s Sunset Strip, including legendary music club the Bourbon. Meanwhile, wanna-be rocker Drew (Maroulis) tries to win the hand of actress-turned-stripper Sherrie (Kelli Barrett). But enough narrative: More Whitesnake and Pat Benatar!

Rock of Ages shouldn’t be this enjoyable, but director Kristin Hanggi whips her talented cast into a lather of headbanging goofiness, turning up the volume to avoid explanations. It pretty much works: They bring the face-melting solos, you supply the flashbacks.—David Cote

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Follow David Cote on Twitter: @DavidCote

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Rock of Ages opening night cast & crew


Constantine Maroulis as Drew
Amy Spanger as Sherrie
James Carpinello as Stacee Jaxx / Father
Adam Dannheisser as Dennis / Record Company Man
Mitchell Jarvis as Record Company Man / Lonny
Michele Mais as Mother / Justice
Lauren Molina as Regina / Candy
Paul Schoeffler as Hertz
Wesley Taylor as Franz
Kristin Hanggi - Director
Chris D'Arienzo - Book
Kelly Devine - Choreographer
Beowulf Boritt - Set Design
Gregory Gale - Costume Design
Jason Lyons - Lighting Design
Peter Hylenski - Sound Design
Zachary Borovay - Projection Design
Tom Watson - Hair and Wig Design
Angelina Avallone - Make-Up Design
Matthew Weaver, Carl Levin, Jeff Davis, Barry Habib, Scott Prisand, Relativity Media, LLC, Corner Store Fund I, Janet Billig Rich, Hillary Weaver, Ryan Kavanaugh, Toni Habib, Paula Kaminsky Davis, Simon Bergson, Stefany Bergson, Jennifer Maloney, Charles Rolecek, Susanne Brook, Craig and Sherri Cozza, Israel Wolfson, Sara Mercer, Jayson Raitt, Max Gottlieb, John Butler, David Kaufman, Jay Franks, Michael Wittlin, Prospect Pictures, Laura Smith, Bill Bodnar, Happy Walters, The Araca Group - Producers