Just after Christmas, I finally was got around to seeing the Las Vegas version of “Rock of Ages” at The Venetian.
First, the backstory. I saw the original version Off-Broadway in New York City in 2009. It was showing in a multiplex with several different shows. I had seen advertisements while in New York for the show and though it sounded fun, with its 80’s theme. I purchased tickets Friday afternoon for that evening’s show. I ended up in the back row of the balcony, in a 480 seat theater. I laughed and sang through the whole show. I was able to sing through the songs, because I knew all the sings. Near the end of the show, there was one of the “lighter” songs. A few of us grabbed our cell phones and shined them during the song. (Afterwards, I got the Zippo App for my phone).
I was so excited about the show, that when I returned to my hotel room, I looked up the show on my phone. The show had started in California, and after a very successful runs, the show opened in the theater I had gone to. The show I saw was closing that weekend. Unlike shows that were closing and ending, they were closing and moving to a Broadway Theater. I looked up while writing this, and saw the New York show would be closing completely this month, after running from 2009 to 2015, would become the 27th longest running show on Broadway.
What gave this show a unique twist, since a big part of the play takes place in the “Bourbon”, drinks were not only served in the lobby, but “in” the theater as well. The show has had several traveling tours, including the U.S., Canada and UK
In 2012, the story went through a rewrite, and was released to the big screen. I did go see the movie just after it came out, and also bought the DVD. The same year, the show moved into the Venetian in Las Vegas. When both the Broadway Cast and Movie Soundtrack were released, I purchased them from iTunes, and they maintain in my collection. If the Broadway Cast Soundtrack were an audio cassette, I would have had to replace it at least once.
When entering the Rock of Ages Theater, after checking for tickets, you receive a small item that looks like a “Bic” Lighter. A small LED replaces the flame. The seats I had purchased were in the front row of the second section, behind the first section. These were great seats to see the stage. I could tell there had been editing since the show moved to Broadway, touring and then to Las Vegas. There were also a few scenes that had been rearranged, but still kept the story line.
How did I feel this time? I had memorized the show’s song versions, so I sang and laughed through the whole show. It was still the great, loose story line I had enjoyed in New York.
This was defiantly not a family show. There is plenty of adult humor. For those of us who grew up in the 80s, it brought back many memories. Even if you have seen the movie version, if you enjoy the music of the 80s, then you should see this show.