Interviews

Preview: Denim dreams and power anthems in 'Rock of Ages'

By Anjali RaguramanEvents - 01 August 2014 7:00 AM | Updated 2:53 PM

Preview: Denim dreams and power anthems in 'Rock of Ages'

Girl moves to the big city, girl meets rocker, and they fall in love – all these, set to a jukebox of '80s rock music.  

‘Rock of Ages’ is a rags-to-riches, rock ‘n’ roll story that has travelled the world and even made it to the big screen in the 2012 movie adaptation. Fresh off its US tour, the musical is coming to Singapore at the Resorts World Sentosa Theatre from 6 to 24 August.

Packed with favourites from the days when MTV still used to play music videos, it is a nostalgia trip-and-a-half through the best of 1980s rock featuring songs by Bon Jovi, Heart, Journey and Whitesnake among others.

The cast members, unstoppable in their skin-tight leather outfits, acid-wash denim and gravity-defying 80s hair, take a break to tell inSing how they keep the story chugging along.

SLOGGING FOR SHOWBIZ DREAMS   

cry baby
Shannon Mullen stars as Sherri Christian, who goes from small-town girl to show stopper (Photo: Scott Suchman)

Shannon Mullen, who plays aspiring actress Sherrie Christian, believes there is “a little Sherrie in everyone” and tapped on her own experiences to play the role. Like her wide-eyed character, the American musical theatre actress shared the familiar story of growing up in a small town and moving to a big city with “nothing but my hopes and dreams packed up with me”.

On the other end of the spectrum is the narcissistic Stacee Jaxx, the personification of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, played by Joshua Hobbs. To play the unhinged rocker with the killer body, Hobbs had to undergo an entire lifestyle change. Having sung in rock bands since he was 18, he was ready for the vocal challenges of the role, but he had to step up physically to portray the rock god.

“I went from 170 pounds (77kg) down to 145 (65kg). I was working out six times a week doing 40 minutes of cardio and an hour of weight-lifting and obviously, can’t forget the abs! The diet consists of six meals per day spread out every three hours,” he revealed.

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL JUKEBOX

Undeniably, the other "main character" of the show is the set of songs which really get the crowds going night after night. Hobbs, who looks up to the vocal styles of Freddie Mercury (Queen) and Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses), gets to perform some of the bigger numbers, including Bon Jovi’s ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ and Foreigner’s 'I Want To Know What Love Is'.

Joshua Hobbs plays "rock god" Stacee Jaxx (right), who's all about the tight leather pants and animal print (Photo: Susan McDonald Gould)

Mullen loves performing Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’, which is a full ensemble number in the show. She said: “It’s so empowering to do every night and I love how the audience never fails to start clapping along and smiling from ear to ear. It’s incredible!”

'BEAUTY OF LIVE THEATRE'

Even though Hobbs has played Jaxx for a while now, every night is different, he claimed. "I still feel that I am finding and learning new things about Stacee Jaxx. The emotion in that moment may be different than the night before, so you can’t always deliver it the exact same way. That’s the beauty of live theatre."

Mullen has similar sentiments: “It is a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is lighthearted... has a wonderful message and the music is so much fun that everyone can’t help but sing along. Six hundred and thirty-five performances later, it is still not old for me.” 

Hobbs added: "I get to live my dream every single night I step out on that stage. I love the energy I feel from the audience when I am up there rocking out."

So grab your air guitar and get ready to fist-pump and rock out with the cast of 'Rock of Ages'. 

Rock of Ages Musical

Rock of Ages Musical

Date Aug 06, 2014 - Aug 24, 2014

VenueResorts World Theatre

Ticket PriceS$75.00 - S$175.00
 (excludes booking fee)