Broadway’s rock and roll sing-a-long, Rock of Ages, will close after a final performance on January 18, 2015, as reported by the show’s producers.
The ’80s classics musical opened in April 2009 and has been a huge hit during its 2,300 plus performances. The show is special because its draws both typical musical lovers as well as people who don’t love classic Broadway-style shows, but instead love rock and pop songs. It’s also known as the biggest party on the Great White Way, as standing up and dancing and drinking booze out of your own Rock of Ages cup is part of the fun.
“We landed Off-Broadway in the midst of the financial meltdown and yet, against all odds—thanks to the sheer determination, grit, naivety and enthusiasm of our dream team of creatives, actors and producers—opened on Broadway in the spring of 2009 to an overwhelming embrace from critics and audiences alike,” producer Jonathan Linden said in a statement. “To have that lead to the launch of over a dozen productions worldwide has been a glorious dream come true.”
The current cast of Rock of Ages includes Constantine Maroulis in the role he originated in the original cast and Big Brother contestant (and brother of Ariana) Frankie J. Grande. The show became a movie in 2012, starring Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, and Julianne Hough, but wasn’t nearly the success that the stage version has been.
Broadway won’t be without a rockin’ good time though – Hedwig and the Angry Inch is going strong at the Belasco Theater. I was fortunate enough to see one of my all-time favorite actors, Michael C. Hall, in the lead role this past weekend. He was absolutely incredible – singing, dancing, and frolicking around the stage in platform stiletto boots that could break anyone’s ankles, let alone while walking over a car.
Hall acts as the show’s story-teller, drawing the audience in with tales – some funny, some sweet, some sad, and then sings related tunes. He had us laughing hysterically in addition to rockin’ out. The show’s music is full-on rock, some songs even on the heavy side, but the show has a few softer, power ballads to balance out the score.
Hedwig opened starring the one-and-only Neil Patrick Harris, who was nominated for a lead actor Tony for the role. Patrick was followed by The Book of Mormon/Girls star Andrew Rannells. Hall took over the helm from the Mormon Tony-nominee last month on October 16.
Hall told Broadway.com, “It’s maybe my first and last chance to live out a glam rock fantasy, so it was kind of a no-brainer.” He also called the rock musical a “profound” work, with music that “kicks ass.” Agreed! It is also a master class of acting, filled with monologue after monologue, giving the actor a chance to express every type of emotion.
If you are a Dexter or Six Feet Under star and will be in New York City before Hall’s final performance on January 18, I could not recommend more that you buy a ticket to this show, whatever the cost. The theater’s feel is intimate, allowing for no bad seats (I was in the second to last row of the mezzanine and could see every expression on that gorgeous man’s face). He is an incredible singer as well as actor and nails Hedwig’s German accent to a tee. The music is also wonderful. I’m a rock and roll gal and was reveling in the music the whole time.
The show also stars Lena Hall (pictured above), who won the Featured Actress Tony for the role in the last awards show. She plays Hedwig’s “husband,” who is clearly a transgendered female-to-male person. Lena’s voice is outstanding and her role adds immensely to the show, despite it being sort of a one-man/transgendered woman-show. But every lead singer has to have their perfectly harmonized back-up singer!
Michael C. Hall, if you ever read this, please know I adore you and thought you were magnificent!! I have seen every episode of every one of your shows and cried from the pure delight of seeing you in person. You rocked!
Oh and this happens….so worth the price of admission!