The night they rocked my world

A night of jammin’ and slammin’ with the Rock of Ages

It was a night I didn’t see coming.
Fact: I’m not a rock fanatic. I’m unfamiliar with most of the famous rock hits. And I’m not acquainted with rock stars. I’m not into excessively loud music and heart pounding beats. But after watching a musical heavy with rock, I realized I could do a compromise with the genre.
Last Thursday, Oct. 30, Rock of Ages premiered once again in Manila. Held at the Meralco Theater, it is a musical that highlights the dream of a simple boy at Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Of course, the story concluded with the usual happy ending, but the way the characters dealt with their individual issues is moving.

Lonny Barnett (Jett Pangan) narrates the story which is set in 1987. He assists Dennis Dupree (Jamie Wilson) who owns the Hollywood bar “The Bourbon Room.”
Drew Boley (Nyoy Volante), on the other hand, is an aspiring rocker who works for Dennis as a busboy. He meets and falls for aspiring actress Sherrie Christian (Kayla Rivera) who is hired by Dennis as a waitress.
Meanwhile, two German developers come to West Hollywood and lure the mayor into getting rid of the sex and rock-n’-roll culture of Sunset Strip by offering a large sum of money. Much to the disgust of Regina (Thea Tadiar Everley), the city planner who directly opposes the development, the two Germans begin their dirty work.
The arrival of Stacee Jaxx (Mig Ayesa) shakes up the lives of those at The Bourbon Room, especially those of Drew and Sherrie who both think that they do not stand a chance at their romance.
A series of twists and turns and rocking and rolling scenes ensue, building up the climax. Resolution comes with more rock music.
The energetic performances, which created a lively atmosphere around the theater, made the audience want to bang their heads.
Some dance routines, however, lack coordination, but the cast’s natural skills made up for this. There were also unforeseen technical glitches (two lapel microphones malfunctioned in the middle of the first act).
Quite commendable is Pangan’s natural delivery of his lines. His being naturally quirky, as attested to by Ayesa himself, is an advantage. He has his own way and timing which doesn’t bore the audience.
Previously, I saw Volante perform in “Shrek the Musical” and was amazed by his hilarious and convincing portrayal of Shrek’s bestfriend, Donkey.
This time, I was awestruck by his stellar performance as Drew. I’ve always admired his acoustic music which suits his cool voice. That night was the first time I heard him sing rock. His undeniably powerful voice range matches his powerful stage performance.
Kayla was also outstanding especially during her daring scenes.
And who will ever forget Ayesa? He’s done his acting so good and smooth one would think the character he portrays is he in real life.
The satisfied spectators who clapped their hands in between performances certainly enjoyed a great show. Well, I also found myself singing with the cast, especially during their rendition of “I Want to Know What Love is” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which concluded the musical.
After watching Rock of Ages, I felt like singing “I Wanna Rock.”

Date of Performances:

October 31 (Friday) 8pm
November 1 (Saturday) 2 & 8pm
November 4 (Tuesday) 8pm
November 5 (Wednesday) 8pm
November 6 (Thursday) 8pm
November 7 (Friday) 8pm
November 8 (Saturday) 2 & 8pm
November 9 (Sunday) 3 & 8pm


Meralco Theater
Ortigas cor. Meralco Avenue,
Ortigas Center, Pasig City 
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