WAAPA students challenged by jukebox musical Rock of Ages

Isabelle Davis (Mt Lawley) and Benjamin Barker (Dianella). Picture: Martin Kennealey d487083
Isabelle Davis (Mt Lawley) and Benjamin Barker (Dianella). Picture: Martin Kennealey d487083

DIRECTOR Crispin Taylor promised there would be no sleazy Tom Cruise, like there was in the 2012 film, when WAAPA second year music theatre students present musical Rock of Ages at Roundhouse Theatre from October 13.

“I’ve seen the film, although I wouldn’t bother watching that,” Taylor, of Mt Lawley, said.

“The stage show is much more fun and we’re falling about laughing a lot in rehearsals.

“It’s no deep night in the theatre and the story is very lightweight. It follows a country girl who comes to LA’s Sunset Strip in the mid 1980s and falls in love with a young bartender who wants to be a rock star.”

Chris D’Arienzo wrote the jukebox musical and the original Broadway production ran for almost six years on Broadway featuring hits from Bon Jovi, Journey, Twisted Sister, Europe, Foreigner and more.

“D’Arienzo wanted to create a musical that all his rock friends would come and enjoy, so the show absolutely pleases both camps,” he said.

“It’s the musical you bring people to who don’t like musicals.

“They’ll laugh a lot and sign along with the material. They can’t get their lighters out anymore, but maybe they’ll get their mobile phones out and sway along.”

Taylor said he was monitoring his second-year students who were finding the rock songs vocally challenging.

“Occasionally you’ll get the right cast for the show and I’ve been lucky with this one,” he said.

“What I mean is, in a student production you’re often having to manipulate or puppeteer one of the performers into a role that doesn’t quite suit them.

“But with this particular cast and production, they all suit their roles so perfectly and it makes my job very easy.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Rock of Ages

Where: Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA

When: October 13 to 20

Tickets: www.waapa.ecu.edu.au