Rock of Ages | Durham Performing Arts Center | Stage | Indy Week
This is a past event.

Rock of Ages 

When: Oct. 25-30 2011
Phone: $11-$61

Was '80s rock really that great? I mean, I still listen to it quite a bit. Many of the songs on my iPod's "Super Psych Mix" once charted during that halcyon decade. But why has music from that particular era been used as soundtrack fodder more than any other decade other than, well, the '60s? The hair was big, the shoulder pads were bigger and most videos inexplicably featured fog machines and/ or a horse randomly wandering through. But there is an earnestness and energy that somehow elevates such pop kitsch, combined with the inability of post-baby boomers to move on from the popular culture of that era. This is my best stab at explaining the appeal of Rock of Ages, a jukebox musical set in the '80s with the songs of Journey, Foreigner, Poison, Pat Benatar and others repurposed as the musical numbers (though the Def Leppard tune that gives this production its title doesn't appear because of licensing rights issues). Despite mediocre reviews, Rock of Ages made its way to Broadway and will be a big feature film next year with the likes of Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin, the better to make "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" games more interesting. Will it work when songs such as "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" are used as production numbers? Decide for yourself when the touring company of Rock of Ages opens at DPAC with Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. performance. Shows continue through Oct. 30. —Zack Smith

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