Updated: May 21, 2015
Rock of Ages Musical Review:On a recent trip to New York City, my wife and I tried to get tickets to a Broadway musical at the last minute. We waited in line at the TKTS Discount Booth at South Street Seaport Booth. They sell tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance and matinee tickets the day before. We weren't sure what we wanted to see, but we were familiar with musicals like Evita, Chicago, Once, Rent, and several others. While we stood in line, a gentleman that works with a musical organization was coming along the line helping patrons like us decide on what to see. He literally did a rundown of all the shows we asked about and mentioned Rock of Ages. I grew up in the 1980's and so the show sounded like something I could really relate to. We decided if we couldn't get tickets to Evita then go with Rock of Ages. It so happens that Evita sold out way in advance so we took a chance with Rock of Ages and it paid off.
The musical is the typical rock and roll story with a small town girl meeting an aspiring rocker and they fall in love. There are some growing pains along the way - such as the girl sleeping with a well known rocker - but all is forgiven later in the musical. The music was played by a live band that sits back on the stage and allows the actors to do their thing. It's loud, but not over the top. The singing is authentic to songs like "We're Not Going to Take it" by Twisted Sister, "Don't Stop Believin" by Journey, and "Come on Feel the Noise" by Quiet Riot. If you liked groups like Bon Jovi, Europe, Poison, and Def Leppard, then you'll love this musical. All the songs were popular ballads or heavy metal mainstays that you will recognize. We had a few 60 year olds next to us that loved the show. Probably not the type of musical for someone who didn't grow up with this music, but a good time could be had by all. The story is funny throughout with plenty of laughs to be had. The musical switches back and forth from acting to singing to acting in the middle of songs. The voices of the lead female and male roles did an excellent job. The Helen Hayes Theatre is small and intimate. It's considered the 'Little Theatre' and holds less than 600 people. They serve beer during the show - a waitress goes up the isle taking orders (as quietly as possible with mostly hand gestures). The atmosphere is fun and relaxed and you are sure to be entertained. The seating is all pretty good - I knew that my seat would have a partial view of the left side of the stage. Double digit seats (above 10) will be off to the side and have no view on a select portion of scenes. I had seat F 11 and couldn't see about 2% of the show. No big deal as mostly music was playing during the specific times when the acting was at the corner of the stage with no view for me. We found ourselves singing along to almost all the songs with the rest of the crowd. I found an excellent website with seating charts and theater rundowns for almost all Broadway shows at http://www.entertainment-link.com/broadway-theaters.asp. The official page for the Rock of Ages musical is online at http://www.rockofagesmusical.com/. Get information on showtimes, the Rock of Ages movies, and the traveling US Tour that is coming across America through 2013. The address for the theater is Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 West 44th Street (Between Broadway and 8th Avenue), New York NY 10036. The show runs for 2 hours and 15 minutes and that includes intermission.