Joshua Hobbs plays Stacee Ja in Lyric Theatre's embly of "Rock of Ages." Pto by KO Rinearson
A adaptation of this adventure appears in the Sunday Activity area of The Oklaman.
Rockin' roles: Lyric Theatre pays admiration to beard bands with agreeable 'Rock of Ages'
Not abounding agreeable amphitheater roles action the liberating achievement of arena a baddie akin with the adolescence dream qualities of actuality a bedrock star.
As Stacee Ja, the big-voiced and big-haired anhesis of “Rock of Ages,” Joshua Hobbs gets all that and bound covering pants, too.
“It was my dream role, and it still is my dream role. It’s the best role I’ve anytime played in my absolute life. If I could, I would comedy it until I’m done with this accomplished acting thing. … Every distinct day, I get to alive my bedrock brilliant dreams up on that date -- and I don’t apperceive w abroad absolutely gets to say that and what added appearance that is the case,” said Hobbs, w toured for about three years with the hit musical.
“To appear out there and bodies sing forth to the music that you’re performing, that’s amazing. I ane that’s about what any advance accompanist of a bandage now would achievement for – that bodies would apperceive the lyrics. That aloof goes to appearance you w accepted the ‘80s and this music absolutely was.”
The New York City-based amateur is aback in the alien covering and beastly book apparel of the fabulous hair-band idol as he makes his Lyric Theatre of Oklama admission in “Rock of Ages,” a jukebox agreeable that pays admiration to Warrant, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister and added glam-rockers of the 1980s.
Featuring Aqua Net-era hits like “Sister Christian,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and, of course, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Rock of Ages” arch bangs its way into Lyric’s Plaza Theatre Wednesday through Nov. 4.
“Not alone does it blow fun at the ‘80s and the glam bedrock – and it does it in such a admiring way, so it’s OK – but it additionally pokes fun at musicals,” said Lyric Theatre Associate Artistic Director Ashley Wells, w is administering the sw.
“I grew up in the ‘80s, so this is my music, so at the aforementioned time, you’re aloof like, ‘Oh my God, I adulation this song. I bethink dancing to it at mecoming.’ It’s actual cornball for tse of us ‘80s kids.”
Derrick Medrano plays Drew in Lyric Theatre's embly of "Rock of Ages." Pto by KO Rinearson
Unlike jukebox musicals like “Jersey Boys” and “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical,” “Rock of Ages” isn’t a biography. Set in 1987, it is a lighthearted, fourth-wall-breaking adulation adventure about a wannabe rocker alleged Drew w works as a busboy in a Hollywood club alleged the Bourbon Room and avalanche for a alone waitress alleged Sherrie w has appear to California in the pes of autritative it as an actress. An appointment with , drugs and bedrock ‘n’ cycle brilliant Stacee Ja threatens to abort their apprentice romance.
“You accept to accept somebody appear in and bones the day – and why not be me to do that job?” Hobbs said with a laugh. “There is such a acceptable adventure actuality told. There’s consistently a adulation adventure in every musical. Everyone wants to accept their heartstrings tugged a little bit, and I ane you get that from this sw. … You’re absolutely acclaim for Drew and Sherrie to end up together.”
Altugh the solid storyline from book biographer Chris D'Arienzo keeps the appearance from acceptable the date agnate of an black on one of Pandora’s ‘80s channels, Wells said the agreeable additionally is “a adulation letter to the ‘80s.”
“We’re accepting a bang accepting this together. … I’m acquisitive that aback you airing into the amphitheater you’re activity to feel like you’re in the Bourbon Room, which is a archetypal bar in and of itself in California,” she said.
“I’m so aflame about our band, and they’re gonna be all wigged up to accept the hair. And all the apparel are glam-rock. … I achievement that that will accord us that feel of, ‘Play with us. Go on this journey’ – no pun intended.”
Lauren Urso stars as Sherrie in Lyric Theatre's embly of "Rock of Ages." Pto by KO Rinearson
Featuring archetypal chart-toppers from Bon Jovi, Foreigner and Pat Benatar, “Rock of Ages’” countless agreeable numbers acutely catch aback to the hair-band heyday.
“It’s a actual altered feel. If you accept to your ‘80s approach on Sirius XM and again go accept to Hits 1, it’s like, ‘Wow, that absolutely was actual different,’” Wells said. “There’s aloof this adulation activity that bodies accept with the ‘80s and ‘80s music. … We achievement the admirers will sing with it. We achievement that they appear appropriate in and alpha singing ‘Sister Christian’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believin’” and ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It.’”
But Wells said she additionally wants the sw’s attending to alarm to apperception the MTV era, with visuals references to iconic ‘80s music videos – yes, alike to Tawny Kitaen’s acclaimed antic beyond car ods in Whitesnake’s “Here I Got Again” clip.
“I’m aggravating to do as abundant as I can to accord us that MTV music video feel, so every time we go into a agreeable number, I try to find, ‘OK, what’s the iconic bulletin here?’” she said.
She said backdrop artist Courtney Strong about alone works on Lyric’s summer sws but requested the advenious to advice actualize the ‘80s capacity of “Rock of Ages,” from beers signs to go on the Bourbon Room’s walls to Stacee Ja’s bulky cellpne.
And citizen apparel artist Jeffrey Meek is accepting a bang recreating the over-the-top fashions, Wells said.
“You apperceive aback you’re in your era and you ane you attending so cool? Oh my God, tse clothes in the ‘80s were rrible,” Wells said, laughing.
Starring in Lyric Theatre's embly of "Rock of Ages" are, from left, Derrick Medrano as Drew, Lauren Urso as Sherrie and Joshua Hobbs as Stacee Ja. Pto by KO Rinearson
Larger than life
Playing the sw’s actomed bedrock star, Hobbs said he advisers his admired Stacee Ja apparel for the “Cum on Feel the Noize” number: a deeply adapted adjudicator book shirt cut off at the sleeves, bedazzled covering pants that tie at the abandon to accomplish them added bound – “Woof, let me acquaint ya about walking in tse things; that’s tough,” he said – a continued covering coat, a cowboy hat, sungles, orted scarves and two bespangled belts with colossal buckles.
“At one point, I’m in underwear with a bathrobe – on date in advanced of all these people. That’s affectionate of fun, too,” he said, laughing.
The Indiana native, 31, said his earlier brother and Journey-obsessed ancestor initially alien him to the music of the ‘80s. His admired bandage is Guns N’ Roses, and he said he feels like frontman Axl Rose was allotment of the afflatus for Stacee Ja’s bad-boy behavior.
“That was him in his prime. If he didn’t appee to do a sw, he’d aloof be like, ‘You apperceive what, I’m not activity out there. Let me bang the monitors over and get off of here,’” Hobbs said.
Like a abrasive Axl Rose about-face of byword or a Steve Perry ertive crus, Hobbs said “Rock of Ages” is tunefully, aboveboard over-the-top – and its admirers adulation it for that actual reason.
“There is a huge mesickness agency with it. If you were allotment of the ‘80s at all – which I ane best of the audiences are apparently activity to be – there is absolutely article that you’re like, ‘Oh, I bethink that music video aback they were application these celebrity models.’ Down to the attache that Sherrie’s carrying, it’s absolutely ‘80s,” he said.
“It is an alternate sw. Lots of breaking the fourth wall, not demography it too seriously, but at the same, you are with it the absolute time. You never absence a beat. You apperceive absolutely what’s activity on in the story. … There’s alike a allotment in the appearance area we sing allotment of the lyrics, and again you apprehend the admirers to sing the blow of the lyrics – and they do. And that happens every distinct night. And I ane that’s appealing incredible, too.”
Lyric Theatre’s “Rock of Ages”
When: Wednesday through Nov. 4
Where: Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16.
Tickets and information, www.lyrictheatreokc.com or 524-9312.
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