One of the things that made my childhood a bit excruciating was having to listen to the noise that is rock music. See, my late father was a rock star wannabe and everyday, we lived our lives with the songs of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, The Cars, Guns N’ Roses, White Lion, Eagles, Beatles, among others blaring in the background. I washed the dishes listening to “My Bestfriend’s Girlfriend”, Papa tinkered with his electronics as Eagles sang about a lovely place, “Hotel California”, when I nursed my cuts and bruises from being beaten by mother because my classmate stepped on the newly cleaned stairs without removing her slippers, Eric Clapton was singing “Tears in Heaven.” Well that was a long time ago because now, I do love rock music. Now that I’ve remembered it, I realized that my life was just like a musical; a rock musical that is.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take you back in the day and show you how I loathed my father for practicing nonstop the riff of Slash on Sweet Child o’ Mine. But I can share with you this experience, which I swear to you is probably the reason the word awesome was invented, Rock of Ages.
I’ve watched this rocking musical with my friends from work, Rhoda, Dennis, and Patti. It was actually a repeat run, held at RCBC Auditorium from the 21st to July 2013, it means if you missed it, I pity you (lol). The musical is based on a book of the same title written by Chris D’ Arienzo. It had been shown in Broadway and was also adapted into film in 2012, starring Tom Cruise. Then Atlantis Productions Inc. created a local musical version, staged last year.
Here bitches, let me show you the rundown of the cast and their respective counterparts in the Hollywood movie.
Mig Ayesa – Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise)
Vina Morales – Sherrie (Julianne Hough)
Nyoy Volante – Drew (Diego Boneta)
Aiza Seguerra – Regina (Catherine Zeta-Jones)
Rachel Alejandro – Justice (Mary J. Blige)
Jett Pangan – Lonny (Russel Brand)
Jamie Wilson – Dennis (Alec Baldwin)
My friends and I watched the show on the 21st July and since we’re a bunch of cheapskates, we paid for the 700-peso worth of ticket, translation: if this is a social class we are the masses. We were seated on the balcony, the farthest from the stage. A bit sad but at least the auditorium is not so big that it required using binoculars. Still, I could neither tell you if Jett has big pores nor describe the designs of Aiza’s tats.
But before we went inside the theater, we had a mandatory picture taking by the musical’s poster.
So we got in and because I wanted us to have more souvenirs of this magical experience, I started taking our pictures. Then this usherette came up to me and said that it’s against the theater rule to take photos even if it’s just selfie. I was like, seriously? I thought that was it, but the woman came back demanding that I delete the photo that I’d taken. And I swear to you the bitch didn’t go away until I deleted the photo, which by the way didn’t show any of the actors, not even the stage, just our friggin’ faces and some seats, which you could easily mistake for a cinema. I was humiliated and furious, and had to fight the urge to summon my inner hulk. I wanted to talk to someone superior to her, but I didn’t want to cause a scene so with a pained smile I deleted the picture.
What she didn’t know is that I’d taken two photos and the one I deleted was taken sans the flash. So yeah, I got another one (up yours bitch!).
I’m not just being a rebel here, but I think it’s rude to ask patrons to delete photos in their phones especially if it’s just a selfie. In truth, I didn’t even know at first that picture-taking is forbidden. I know the usherette was just trying to implement the rules, but I think she should have just stopped at telling me off, like maybe to serve as a warning not to do it again. I didn’t snap a single photo of the show let alone the stage, had it been the case, I would have understood if she wanted me to remove the image from my phone. But asking me to delete the picture, and a selfie at that, I find a bit overboard. To me, she appeared like she was just power tripping and I really hate it. Well anyway, at least now I know (and you guys know too) that “picture taking inside the RCBC auditorium even if it’s just a selfie is prohibited”.
Now, that’s taken off my chest let’s proceed to the good part. Rock of Ages (for the dummies) is about Sherrie who went to the city to become a singer and a club crew/rockstar wannabe, Drew. They became friends, co-workers in The Bourbon Room, a popular bar and club in Los Angeles, and of course, fell in love, because even a comedy, rock musical needs to be cheesy you know. So if you’re wondering where did the rockstar, Stacee Jaxx fit in the picture, well he was just a beautiful decoration. Storywise, Jaxx is just a supporting character, it just so happens that Tom Cruise is the most popular out of all the stars in the movie so naturally, he is placed in the middle of the poster, in a cowboy hat, and fur coat.
Honestly, the only thing I liked in the movie was the music. Still I went to see the theater adaptation because:
A. I love theater,
B. I love rock music (yes, you may now forget the bit about hating rock music because that was in the past), and
C. I have to see my future husband, Mig Ayesa (hehehe…).
And now here are reasons you should be sorry you didn’t see the musical:
- The ensemble is without a question, composed of better singers than the ones on the film version.
- Initially, I had reservations about Vina playing Sherrie because I thought she’s a bit old for the role, but holy cherry that girl is a diamond. Her voice is clear, she’s sexy, beautiful face, dances well, and doesn’t look her age!
- The show is downright funny, particularly Jett Pangan whose crazy dialogues are side-splitting.
- Aiza came out wearing black lingerie in one scene. That’s one hell of a shock that the audience loved.
- The songs, god of course the songs! Normally, theater shows use classic music so it’s quite refreshing to see a musical that plays my fave genre of music.
- Mig Ayesa alone is the REASON. I’ve been a fan of his since Rockstar INXS. He’s sexy, sings really well, and boy he can act too. Forgive me my fellow Tom Cruise fans, but Mig did the Jaxx role better.
There were some tweaking in the plot that were different from the movie particularly the ending. I thought, as well as my companions, that it’s better than the movie because it made things more believable. For some reason I had high expectations of this musical since it’s an all-star cast with real singers, and by real singers I mean people with released records and whose voices didn’t require to be laced with electro shiznit to make ’em sound bearable to the audience. More often than not, expectations lead to disappointments, but not this time. Rock of Ages musical is one scoop of greatness. It’s beyond entertaining, it’s electrifying, and gives you a certain high that you usually get when you experience something wonderful. And if you didn’t get a chance to see it, go home, have a beer, cry in the corner, make sure that the song Don’t Stop Believin’ is playing in the background, then hope they’d indulge us with another repeat run next year.