Rock of Ages brings ’80s music to Limelight Theatre

Rock of Ages features Aleisha Archer as Sherrie and Matthew Winter as Drew. Pictures: Ashleigh Taylor
Rock of Ages features Aleisha Archer as Sherrie and Matthew Winter as Drew. Pictures: Ashleigh Taylor

ROCK of Ages is bringing the ’80s back in a musical expected to get the audience dancing in the aisle at Wanneroo’s Limelight Theatre.

Written by Chris D’Arienzo and directed by Ashlee Torrens and Kathleen Del Casale, the LA love story is set in a rock club in 1987 where big hair meets big dreams in a rock’n’roll comedy romance.

A small-town girl, fresh off the bus and hoping to become a Hollywood star, meets a big-city dreamer who, while currently a busboy, is an aspiring rocker, and they fall in love to the greatest songs of the ’80s.

Rock of Ages is a jukebox musical using classic songs from the era by iconic rockers such as Foreigner, Journey, Bon Jovi, REO Speedwagon, Poison, Starship, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake, Europe and Twisted Sister.

Nominated for five Tony Awards, including best musical, in 2009, the original Broadway production ran for 2328 performances over six years and was tied as the 29th-longest running show in Broadway history.

Wilton Kerr, centre, as Stacee Jaxx with his groupies (Ellie Coburn, left, Genevieve Chalkley, Laura Kovler, Elizabeth Del Casale) in Rock of Ages.

The decision to direct Rock of Ages stems from Torrens’ long-time connection with the energetic musical – and Del Casale was eager to join her for the roller coaster ride.

“It’s the sort of musical that will have you dancing in the aisle,” Del Casale said.

“The show is a bawdy good time for anyone looking to forget their troubles and have some fun at the theatre.”

Torrens said there was “something about the magic of ’80s music that makes you want to party”.

Rock of Ages is a big, brash, energetic tribute to classic rock, over-the-top ballads and fierce guitar,” she said.

Sherrie (Aleisha Archer) shares her dreams with the waitress (Lindsay Brennan).

Del Casale and Torrens have been involved in theatre for a combined 20 years, first meeting at Limelight Theatre seven years ago when they were cast in the musical Hairspray.

Since then, they have been in almost every musical staged at the theatre.

“We’re excited to be directing and being at the forefront for once,” Del Casale said.

“If you’ve only seen the movie, you’re likely to be surprised how fun, playful and interactive Rock of Ages on stage is.

“The musical has its own brand and has lots of different songs that weren’t in the movie.”

Regina (Mary Del Casale, centre) leads a group of protesters (Bradley Vogels, left, Madeline McAllan, Chelsea Defontaine and Taylor Westland).

Torrens said they wanted to do the Broadway show justice.

“It’s a very fast-paced and intricate show, with overlapping elements and scenes,” she said.

“We want to make sure the audience are on their feet by the final bow and rockin’ all the way home.”

Matthew Winter gets swept up in his performance as Drew.

Rock of Ages plays at Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo from 8pm on November 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, December 5, 6 and 7 with a 2pm matinee on November 23.

Tickets cost $32, $28 concession through www.limelighttheatre.com.au or call 0499 954 016.

The Bourbon Room staff in Rock of Ages, played by Bradley Vogels, left, Rebekah Del Casale, Blake Torrens, Ellie Coburn, Genevieve Chalkley, Laura Kovler and Lindsay Brennan.