They built this musical on rock’n’roll and boy did it rock and did it roll.
A 24 track blast of guitar and vocal heroics sweetened by the most powerful of power ballads. Billed as Spinal Tap meets Rocky Horror, this show will have audiences mainlining on a common rock heritage. It has been a monster on the US stage and looks set to lift the spirits this side of the Atlantic and beyond.
Time Out New York called it `insanely fun`. Guilty as charged! I went round the bend last night! And for once the poster tagline tells no lie. Yes sir this is one `hilarious kick-ass` musical.
The feel goodness of this show was palpable in a crowd made up of Brian May from Queen, ex Stone Bill Wyman, the Spandau brothers Gary and Martin. All toe tapping with Cilla Black and her trusty luvvy pal, Christopher Biggins. The pair was first in line in the dash backstage afterwards to congratulate the cast headed up by TV comic turn Justin Lee Collins and X Factor winner to wilderness Shayne Ward. On this showing young Mr Ward is back in the groove as sexy rock god Stacee Jaxx.
Funny man Lee Collins was seriously good, down and dirty as rock bar boss Dennis Dupree. The evening was sponsored by MasterCard whose slogan is priceless. Their card even made a cameo appearance on stage and, surely in terms of kudos that rates as pretty priceless.
These two marquee names headed a thoroughly tub-thumping cast of musical theatre pros who gave the finest stagecraft and vocal treatment to a solid gold Eighties jukebox. Action was set in that Adult Orientated Rock decade on LA’s Sunset Strip. And colourful characters were aplenty including a much applauded camp popinjay gay German. His evil dad property developer was intent on ditching the old dives and installing bright shiny Foot Lockers on every corner.
The big voice on stage was the wannabe rock star who had to find his groove to stardom and his star-crossed lover Drew played by Oliver Tompsett. In one bravura moment he held a note for what seemed like forever, drawing gasps from the audience and wild applause. At the after party I had to warmly shake the man’s hand for that feat alone. A true set of chords which lifted the rafters of the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End. All this star power and vocal force was showcased by the dude of the bar, rocker and handyman, who had a masterful command of comic timing and truly mastered ceremonies.
But of course the true stars were the songs which included Don`t Stop Believin`, The Final Countdown and that anthem of stadiums the world over Built This City on Rock`n`Roll.
The after party was a fitting monument to this rock extravaganza – a temple no less. The imposing Freemason’s Temple in Londons Covent Garden. Appropriately. A true rock god took to the stage, none other than Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd who headed up a masterclass combo of talent to belt out the hits. Standing chatting to Shayne Ward the trademark synth riff of Van Halen’s Jump blasted through the building and we knew this was a party that was built on the power and pomp of rock n roll.
What a show – what an after party.
Half rock half roll 100% amazing!
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