Thursday, April 26, 2018
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'Rock of Ages' to liven up Ruth Eckerd Hall

CLEARWATER — Rock of Ages, a five-time Tony Award-nominated musical, comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday with performances at 5 and 9 p.m. It's not your mother's Broadway musical.

Rather, it's a fun, flamboyant and occasionally raunchy tribute to those hungover, hair-flinging glam metal bands we all loved in the '80s: Poison, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Styx, Whitesnake and more.

Bring Mom anyway. She'll have a ball boppin' down memory lane with dozens of legendary hits like We Built This City, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Can't Fight This Feeling, I Love Rock 'n' Roll, I Want to Know What Love Is, and We're Not Gonna Take It.

"It's no-holds-barred, free-rein fun," said Kevin Stone, entertainment manager for the venue. "The music is so powerful, you'll lose control of yourself."

This is the second time Ruth Eckerd Hall has hosted the national tour.

Stone said the show was very interactive, with the nightclub band on stage providing live music.

"The actors break down that fourth wall and get into the audience and dance around with you,'' he said. "It's like being in a 1980s nightclub all over again."

Among the musical notes are a few thinly sliced plot lines, too.

The show is set in 1987 Hollywood. Small-town girl Sherrie Christian has just arrived with a suitcase and plans to make it big when she meets Drew Boley, a rocker with showbiz dreams of this own. Drew gets Sherrie a job as a waitress at the Bourbon Room, the party gets started, and the rest is rock history.

"If you love music, if you love classic rock, you're going to love this show," Stone said.

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