No doubt about it, the ‘80s produced some cutting-edge music. None of it is in Rock of Ages, the 2005 jukebox musical by Chris D’Arienzo that’s populated by thumping power-rock songs and dubious resurrections of Journey, Foreigner and Twisted Sister. The good news is that Rock of Ages is a fun show anyway. Its storyline, loosely concerning a would-be rocker (Rory Gilbert), a wannabe actress (Megan Carmitchel) and a Sunset Strip club threatened by a corporate wrecking ball, feels like it was written over a bong and a bag of Oreos. As such, no one onstage takes it seriously, so silliness is as preordained as guitar solos. Cygnet Theatre’s production offers up a skilled band conducted by Patrick Marion and winning turns from many in the large cast, including Bryan Banville, Zackary Scot Wolfe, Anise Ritchie and Victor E. Chan as the narrator with “jazz hands.” (You’ll have to see the show to get that.)
(Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 11/17/19.)
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.