Rock of Ages at the Lyric Theatre #RocktheCity

I saw the movie version of Rock of Ages back in 2012. It starred Tom Cruise at Stacee Jaxx, Julianne Hough as Sherrie Christian and Alec Baldwin as Dennis Dupree.

Now, the theatre production of Rock of Ages is currently on at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg, and I attended the media preview last week.

I really enjoyed the movie, so I was super excited to see the live theatrical production of this multi Tony award-nominated Broadway musical, written by Chris D’Arienzo.

Having spent six years on Broadway, Rock of Ages then went on to Las Vegas, a nation-wide tour of the US as well as productions in Tokyo, Toronto, Sydney, Mexico City, Panama City, Manila, Malta, Singapore and now, Gold Reef City, Johannesburg!

Sherrie (Claire Taylor) in action

Featuring 28 nostalgic rock anthems including the music of Pat Benatar, Styx, Twisted Sister, Poison, Foreigner, Reo Speedwagon, and more, Rock Of Ages pays homage to the big rock concerts of the 80’s. It takes audiences all the way back to 1987 to the fabled West Hollywood club, the ‘Bourbon Room’, set on LA’s infamous Sunset Strip. The musical tells the story of Drew, a city boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, who have both landed up in LA to chase their dreams of making it big. Rock of Ages celebrates a time when big glamour rock bands were the epitome of decadence, superficiality, oversized egos, never ending guitar solos, extreme clothes and outrageous hairstyles!

Starring characters like Drew (Josh Ansley), Sherrie (Claire Taylor), Lonny (Zak Hendrikz), Dennis Dupree (Craig Urbani), Stacee Jaxx (Andrew Webster), Regina (Natasha van der Merwe), and Justice (Mpumelelo Mayiyane), Rock of Ages features an impressive set list of 28 songs, which will be performed by a live band and led by Musical Director, Wessel Odendaal.

“Rock of Ages is like a time machine. If you were young (or younger…) in the 80s, this show will take you on a journey back to that era and it is guaranteed to make you laugh! It is jam-packed with great tunes, amazing effects and a star-studded all-South African cast! Think shoulder pads, lycra, lots of stone-washed denim, tight leather pants, bright colours, permed hair and mullets…and you’re one step closer to defining the essence of the show,” says Producer Jaco van Rensburg of VR Theatrical.

Being a child of the 80’s myself, I sang along to most of the songs that I grew up with, listening to them on the radio. The beauty of musical theatre is that the songs selected helps to tell the story, the emotions of the characters and takes the audience on a journey of discovery, as one sings along to medleys that take you back to the days of shoulder pads, neon colours and leg warmers – but come to think of it, all of that is back in fashion and trending today, which really means that the saying, (fashion) “history repeats itself” is true!

This show is strictly for adults, as there are scenes that you would not want your kids to see or hear!

One must actually not compare it to the movie at all, as they are very different beasts. Theatre is over dramatic, because that is the nature of it. The actors need to project, the make is over the top and the gestures sometimes overdone, but this is because people in the “cheap seats” also need to see and hear what is happening on stage.

This production ticks all the boxes for me:

Entertaining, funny, naughty and it made me smile, sing, clap and tap my feet!

Drew (Josh Ansley) and Sherrie (Claire Taylor)

The crowds came dressed up in their favourite rock star attire from the mid 1980’s. Here are a few pictures of local celebs, channeling their inner rock stars.

Media personalities and husband and wife, Salamina and Howza


Actor David Johnson, singer Bianca Le Grange and Gold Reef City’s Marketing Manager, Gareth Kaschula

Rock of Ages performances will run at The Lyric during the following times: Tuesday – Friday at 20:00, Saturday at 15:00 and 20:00 and Sunday at 15:00. Ticket prices range between R160 and R300, and are available through, Gold Reef City Box Office and Computicket.

Win A Rockstar Weekend at The Beverly Hills Hotels!

Buy your Rock of Ages show ticket and you automatically stand a chance to win your share of R150,000 in prizes including a rock star weekend away!

How to enter:

Buy your show ticket and drop your stub into the entry bin at The Lyric after the performance.

When is the draw: Sunday, 10 December 2017

What can you win:

1st Prize – Rock Star experience at The Beverly Hills Hotel, Durban, valued at over R100,000 + memorabilia

2nd Prize – R20,000 in cash + memorabilia

3rd Prize – R10,000 in cash + memorabilia


Warning: This show contains scenes of Rock ‘n’ Roll debauchery – PG advised.





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