Rock of Ages | ’80s Flashback

rockofages sqEven if you have already seen the movie, plan to be pleasantly surprised when coming to the live stage show.

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The Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis
May 24–26

If Grease is a celebration of the ’50s, then Rock of Ages is its equivalent to the ’80s. It has found success on and off Broadway, including its own motion picture adaptation that was released in 2012 starring Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Russell Brand, among others. Ultimately a love story, Rock of Ages centers around two main characters, Drew and Sherrie, complete opposites who meet and fall in love to a soundtrack of 1980s rock. Set on the Sunset Strip during 1987, the story finds the couple navigating not only through their relationship, but also the slippery slopes of the L.A. music industry.

Now, Rock of Ages makes its way to St. Louis for a flashback weekend at The Fabulous Fox. One half of the show’s power duo, Shannon Mullen, who plays the bubbly and optimistic Sherrie, described the musical in two words: “guilty pleasure.” “The show never ends without the entire audience up on their feet, singing and dancing along with us,” she said Featuring 28 stellar 1980s classics, the show boasts flashback songs by artists such as Foreigner, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Journey, Styx, and REO Speedwagon. “It has music that everyone loves and the story is hilarious,” said Mullen. “People usually expect a typical musical when they come, but they get a full rock concert with us. I always leave work with a smile on my face, even 510 shows later, because it is just a blast.”

Fans of the film expecting to find a live performance of last year’s motion picture hit will need to keep looking. Explains Mullen, “The movie and the musical are nothing alike. It’s always been a difficult task to take a stage production and put it on the big screen.” She admitted that some of the alterations include the absence and addition of characters, as well as songs and plot twists. “Call me biased,” she continues, “but plan to be pleasantly surprised when coming to the live stage show. You will understand that it would have been impossible to take the experience people share by seeing our show live, and do it true justice on film.” She should know, having worked on national tours of such adapted musicals as Legally Blonde and Hairspray, Mullen is no stranger to the drill. “I’ve been extremely blessed [to be a part of] some of the most energetic and well received Broadway shows. I can say each tour has progressively opened my eyes to the most once-in-a-lifetime experiences a girl could dream of.”

For a show packed with so much energy, success, and musical nostalgia, which ’80s song would she have liked to perform? “It would be a toss up between a little Madonna or a little Michael Jackson. Obviously, that would be more the pop genre of the ’80s, but who wouldn’t love that?” | Jennifer Manjarez

Tickets for Rock of Ages at The Fabulous Fox can be purchased online or by phone, 314-543-1111. Tickets range from $30 to $80; showtimes are Friday, May 24, at 8 p.m.; Saturday May 25 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 26 at 2 p.m.

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