rock of ages22

Theater and ROCK are coming to Orlando (TheatreWorks Florida) for Rock of Ages! Not every movie is a hit from a musical, but this one was!

Through bellowing music of Rock from the 80s, and putting your horns up, this Broadway musical will be a sure-fire way to get you moving out of your seats for an impressive time.

I had a wonderful opportunity to ask Scott A. Cook (director, artistic producer, choreographer, and TheatreWorks Florida) if we could set up an interview with the cast of Rock of Ages! Casey Sweeney, Bobby Keller, Kayla Alvarez, Scott A. Cook, Shannon Kropf, Christopher Jones, Justin J. Scarlat, and, Stephen Alan, in Rock of Ages.

Casey Sweeney (Dennis Dupree):

1.) How did you become involved with the Broadway Musical Rock of Ages and why?

I wanted to be a part of Rock of Ages as soon as TheatreWorks Florida posted the audition notice. I love shows like Rock of Ages that are really aimed at and enjoyed by “non-theatre” people. So many people have a preconceived notion of what a musical is. The kick ass 80’s music will be the gateway for some to come to the show. Hopefully they will have such an amazing time they will seek out other live shows too!

2.) What are your day to day routines and set up for Rock of Ages?

The most important thing for me is a good vocal warm up and care for my voice. This show has some amazing gritty rock vocals and can be tough on the voice.

3.) What is it like practicing for Rock of Ages? see above

4.) Why did you want to audition?

I have worked with TheatreWorks Florida in the past on Little Shop of Horrors. They are a high-quality professional company. I knew they would be putting on a stellar show at the Dr. Phillips Center and I had to be part of it.

5.) What was your process for the audition and how did you receive the part?

Finding music for the audition was the most difficult task in preparing. During the show we are backed by a seriously sick band. In the audition you have only the piano. I had to pick songs that I could belt a solid rock solo without the drums and guitars.

6.) Tell me a little bit about your background, and what lead to receiving the part in Rock of Ages?

Graduate of Ithaca College BFA Musical Theater (’12) I came to Orlando as an original cast member of Blue Man Group. I have had the opportunity to perform in many Orlando venues from Mad Cow Theater to Walt Disney World and the fringe festival.

7.) What do you do outside Rock of Ages? Does it pertain to the music and theater?

I am an elementary school music teacher at a private school in Wekiva Springs. I teach all students to read music, play instruments, and perform in an end of the year showcase.

8.) What type of mind blowing experience can we prepare for Rock of Ages?

I think the book of the show in incredibly strong, you won’t believe how well the songs are integrated into the show. Also, the band will have some ear shredding guitar solos that rival the original recordings.

9.) Why would people what to come to this show? Will it change your life?

People should come to this show to relive the glory of the ‘80s. This is not Shakespeare here, nothing is too deep. If you’re ready to laugh till your cry, dance in the aisles, and throw up some rock horns, this show is for you!

10.) For someone who hasn’t seen the musical yet, what can you tell us about it?

Over 2 dozen rock anthems, big hair, tiny clothes, and nothing but a good time. The story is too funny to give anything away!

11.) Can you elaborate on how creative this musical is?

As I said the book for the show is incredibly strong. There have been many jukebox musicals in the past few years, each taking the song catalog of a given artist, band or time period and linking them together with a story. They often end up feeling contrived and the songs “sorta work.” Rock of Ages has integrated the music so well you may forget they were not written for the show. It’s also a show that is aware of itself and in a way is parodying and making fun of the same things it is celebrating. This humor is what makes the show live.

12.) What can you expect when you leave Rock of Ages?

To be singing “Don’t Stop Believing” non-stop for the next month.

Bobby Keller (Lead Guitar)

 

bobby keller

1.) How did you become involved with the Broadway Musical Rock of Ages and why?

I was contacted by Scott Cook, through a mutual friend. I was asked about playing the lead guitar role, and I mean, how was I going to say no. Its an incredible opportunity and something that I am very excited about.

2.) What are your day to day routines and set up for Rock of Ages?

My day to day routines include a lot of rehearsals and practicing by myself. Learning the songs and developing solos that I think match the songs without going to far away from the original.

3.) What is it like practicing for Rock of Ages?

Its very demanding. There is a lot of material to learn and you have to be spot on. The audience knows these songs because they are classics, and the actors depend on certain cues so there is a lot riding on the band to make sure everything runs smoothly.

4.) Why did you want to audition?

Honestly, I had only heard of the play through videos and stuff and I never in a million years thought I’d be doing something like this. It was just an incredible opportunity that came to my doorstep. I see it as a challenge as well and hopefully it’ll take my guitar playing to a new level.

5.) What was your process for the audition and how did you receive the part?

Honestly, I had only heard of the play through videos and stuff and I never in a million years thought I’d be doing something like this. It was just an incredible opportunity that came to my doorstep. I see it as a challenge as well and hopefully it’ll take my guitar playing to a new level.

6.) Tell me a little bit about your background, and what lead to receiving the part in Rock of Ages?

I have been playing guitar since 2008, and it’s pretty much my whole life. I spend hours and hours playing. I also play in a local metal band called Meka Nism. So to be in a local band and to play rock of ages in our hometown means a lot to me. Plus, I am a huge fan of the 80s metal and hair metal. It’s a part of what got me into playing guitar so I am even more excited to be living out a childhood fantasy playing these songs.

 

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7.) What do you do outside Rock of Ages? Does it pertain to the music and theater?

I spend most of my time playing in Meka Nism and touring. I also spend a lot of time watching classic horror movies. I am a huge horror fan.

8.) What type of mind blowing experience can we prepare for Rock of Ages?

Rock of Ages has turned into a huge party. Its not just a show, its a lifestyle. Big sounding guitars, big hair, beautiful women, what else could you ask for?

9.) Why would people what to come to this show? Will it change your life?

If it doesn’t change your life, then there is something wrong with you and you shouldn’t be there in the first place.

10.) For someone who hasn’t seen the musical yet, what can you tell us about it?

Don’t see the movie, its nothing like the musical.

11.) Can you elaborate on how creative this musical is?

TheatreWorks Florida is an amazing organization. The amount of planning and resources have been blowing my mind. From the meetings, to photo shoots, and the extensiveness of everything is just professional to the highest level.

12.) What can you expect when you leave Rock of Ages?

I’m not sure, hopefully some major touring with Meka Nism and new record by next year!

Kayla Alvarez (Sherrie)

Sherrie

 

1.) How did you become involved with the Broadway Musical Rock of Ages and why?

Rock Of Ages is one kick-ass musical full of hair, crazy choreography, and fun belt-y songs from the 80’s, so finding out that the Central Florida Premiere was holding auditions, I felt as through this production was calling out my name.

2.) What are your day to day routines and set up for Rock of Ages?

This is a very high demanding show when it comes to physical health. I start off every morning by hitting the gym and try to take no days off. We also have rehearsals every night Monday-Friday, so I definitely get a double workout in there. After all a stripper body doesn’t come easy.

3.) What is it like practicing for Rock of Ages?

One hell of a good time. This show is absolutely huge and takes a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day rehearsals are something I look forward to every day. This cast connects and gets along so well, each and every rehearsal is a total blast.

4.) Why did you want to audition?

I mean it’s Rock Of Ages, come on… But really, I’ve always had a love for the 80’s and especially the music from the 80’s so when I found out there was a hit musical filled with all of that, I had to make myself a part of it.

5.) What was your process for the audition and how did you receive the part?

For the initial audition we were told to prepare two contrasting pop/rock selections, I had decided to go with Barracuda by Heart and Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith. I then received a callback for “Sherrie” and it was a series of two callbacks within two nights. The first night mostly consisted of learning back to back, hardcore and very intense dance combinations with a series of cuts throughout the night. I had then made it through to the second night where we were taught some of the leads’ songs and were to perform then one by one for Scott. Moving on we then read some sides from the script and ended the night by pairing up and doing some duet songs with one another. The next morning I had received the call that I was being offered the role of Sherrie and it was honestly one the most exciting moments of my life, you guys. I was and am very excited to bring this character to life and share her with you all on that DPAC stage.

6.) Tell me a little bit about your background, and what lead to receiving the part in Rock of Ages?

I have been doing musical theater for about nine years now, taking classes/workshops and working and performing with theaters all over Florida. I’ve had the amazing opportunity of bringing some dream roles to life such as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family, Gingy in Shrek the Musical, and Bonnie Parker in Bonnie and Clyde the Musical.

 

Sherrie2

7.) What do you do outside Rock of Ages? Does it pertain to the music and theater?

I am a student and made theater my job by working all throughout and around the Orlando area.

8.) What type of mind blowing experience can we prepare for Rock of Ages?

Rock Of Ages is unique, unexpected, and so in your face that is it sure to blow some minds.

9.) Why would people what to come to this show? Will it change your life?

It’s definitely life changing. I mean it’s a total blast from the past. It’ll take you back to that scandalous time of big hair, sex, and rock and roll and honestly, who doesn’t love that?

10.) For someone who hasn’t seen the musical yet, what can you tell us about it?

If you happen to be familiar with the movie Rock Of Ages let me let you in on a little secret… The musical and our show in particular is SO. MUCH. BETTER. It’s live, it’s in your face, it’s fun, it’s sexy, it’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I really think that’s the fun in this show. It’s definitely going to be the biggest party ever and Orlando better start preparing themselves.

11.) Can you elaborate on how creative this musical is?

It’s insane actually. Not only does this musical have every bit of 80’s you could ever want, it also has a pretty cool storyline within it. And like I stated above, and I give you fair warning, be prepared to laugh, to cry, to party, to go crazy. This musical may bring a side of you out, you never even thought existed.

12.) What can you expect when you leave Rock of Ages?

A plethora of emotions, maybe some (awesome) sensory overload, and it’ll definitely make you want to party your ass off. So don’t miss it.

Justin J. Scarlat (Drew)

1.) How did you become involved with the Broadway Musical Rock of Ages and why?

I became familiar with the show when I saw the original Broadway cast perform Journey’s, “Don’t Stop Believing” at the 2009 Tony awards. I remember thinking, that’s the guy from American Idol.

2.) What are your day to day routines and set up for Rock of Ages?

It’s work, work, work, but fun work! The cast gets along well, and we continue to make each other laugh and encourage each other. We warm-up and once the clock says 6:30pm, we go! We learned the score in a week and just finished all the choreography. We are now staging and putting all the pieces together.

3.) What is it like practicing for Rock of Ages?

Well, currently we are rehearsing 5 to 6 days a week. My typical day is work, home to walk the dog, eat, change, then off to rehearsal. We rehearse from 6:30pm to 10:30pm at least five days a week. It has pretty much been this way since we started. Scott is going to give you “Broadway”, with Orlando actors/actresses. So rehearsing this much is definitely worth it to give Orlando a party that’s “nothing but a good time”!

4.) Why did you want to audition?

I was lucky enough to be a part of Hands On A HardBody with Scott and TheatreWorks Florida, and was extremely excited when he offered me the role of “Benny Perkins”. It was a theatrical dream. The cast was extremely talented, the set was just beautiful, and Scott’s direction and vision made you feel that you were a part of a Broadway show. After Hands on a Hardbody, I said to myself “if Scott is doing a show that you’d be good for, AUDITION!” I knew there were many male roles to fill in Rock of Ages, so it was just a matter of what part Scott could see me as… I just didn’t expect it to be Drew!

5.) What was your process for the audition and how did you receive the part?

My audition prep may not work for everyone. I am an extremely fly-by-the-moment kind of person. For instance, I pick what songs I am going to sing at least a month away for the audition date, and practice in my free time. I start to feel good about my choices, and then after a month of perfecting my audition cut, I change my songs at the last minute. It happens almost 90% of the time. I pick songs, rehearse them for a month, and then change on the day of auditions. I don’t know why I do it, maybe the adrenaline, but in a way I think it helps me.

6.) Tell me a little bit about your background, and what lead to receiving the part in Rock of Ages?

I got the acting bug in middle school. It took one teacher to inspire me to want to tell stories from other perspectives and take an audience on a journey with me. I have loved music since before I could hum a tune. I continued to do a combination of theater and music from middle school on through high school and into college. I was a Drum Major and Thespian President in high school, and once I was out, I started to music direct for community theater productions. I was invited to be Resident Musical Director for a local community theater, and I have music directed and directed over 30 productions with them between 2011 and 2015. I left that theater to focus more on performing, and, with a friend of mine, started the Blacklist Babes Cabaret – a live, singing burlesque troupe here in Central Florida… but I couldn’t stay away from music directing, so I am currently music director for a new production in Volusia County, “Beach Party: The Musical”. I like to keep myself busy (clearly), so I’ve also been composing music for musicals in my “spare time” (or lack thereof). Recently, I composed music for “Doro and Diega Explore Middle Class America: A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Musical”, which won Patron’s Pick at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival. I LOVE musical theater because it combines the two obsessions of my life, music and theater.

7.) What do you do outside Rock of Ages? Does it pertain to the music and theater?

When I am not rocking out, I work full time as an administrative assistant for The Meehle Law Firm, but usually when the day job ends I’m rushing off to teach a voice lesson or music direct a rehearsal.

8.) What type of mind blowing experience can we prepare for Rock of Ages?

I think what will blow your mind is the fact that everything you’re going to get out of Rock of Ages has been produced, built, cast, painted, sung, and played by local Orlando artists, but you’ll swear when you leave that you are leaving a Broadway show. This cast, crew, band, everyone is just on point and working tremendously hard to give everyone that walks into that theater the Broadway experience that TheatreWorks Florida is so well known for.

9.) Why would people what to come to this show? Will it change your life?

I think that people will want to attend because of the 80’s nostalgia. Imagine parents bringing their kids to get a glimpse into the era they grew up in, experiencing the fashion and the songs they heard when they were their age.

10.) For someone who hasn’t seen the musical yet, what can you tell us about it?

It’s all 80’s, all the time. The show is a cornucopia of rock n’ roll classics with a humorous script that feels just like a cheesy, feel-good 80’s flick, like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or Sixteen Candles.

11.) Can you elaborate on how creative this musical is?

What I feel sets this musical apart from your traditional musical is the way they used different 80’s anthems that people would commonly hear on the radio, and incorporate it into a cheesy 80’s love story, weaving it into the lyrics from these anthems. The creativeness of the script is the way the playwright pokes fun at the 80’s characters while still filling each of them with their own heart and spirit.

12.) What can you expect when you leave Rock of Ages?

If the audience doesn’t leave singing the chorus to at least one of the anthems, then we didn’t do our job right. The younger generation will be exposed to an era with some of the best rock music to ever reach their ears, and Gen X will walk away reminded of a time where rock n’ roll was all that mattered.

Christopher Jones (Lonny)
1.) How did you become involved with the Broadway Musical Rock of Ages and why?

After I saw the posting for the audition, I immediately knew that I was going. Rock of Ages, and the character Lonny, is one of my ‘bucket list’ shows and role. So I prepared for it more than the normal audition, and gave it my all!

2.) What are your day to day routines and set up for Rock of Ages?

Currently, we are rehearsing close to every day, from 6-10, and its a lot of hard work and energy. When we are not learning the music, blocking, or choreography, we have to be cramming in lines and remembering what we were taught last week. These songs aren’t the easiest to sing and dance to, so even before rehearsal, we have to warm up our voices and bodies.

3.) What is it like practicing for Rock of Ages?

It’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s one thing rehearsing a Sondheim or Rodgers and Hammerstein show, and then there is rehearsing for a jukebox musical show with hits from the 80’s – the energy levels are TOTALLY different. So after every rehearsal, everyone leaves with sore muscles and a head high!

4.) Why did you want to audition?

Like I said, it has been dream role for me to play Lonny. I worked with the show when it was Off-Broadway, and then on Broadway, selling merchandise, so I managed to see it almost every night…And every night something new made me laugh!

5.) What was your process for the audition and how did you receive the part?

Before the audition, I prepped two songs that were contrasting, that were geared towards the show. After rehearsing them at home in front of my dog until he had enough, I went to the audition prepared and ready to go…I might have chugged a Red Bull beforehand to pump up my energy even more. I received a callback, and went back the next day to dance call. After a round of dancing like a fool (I am not a dancer by any means), and being able to sing from the show, I shortly found out that I was cast as Lonny.

6.) Tell me a little bit about your background, and what lead to receiving the part in Rock of Ages?

I have been performing for about 15 years now, working with Disney for five of those years at Finding Nemo the Musical, and being a MainStage performer on the Disney Cruise Line. Prior to that, I have done most of my performing back home in New Jersey, New York, and a bit in Maine as well.

7.) What do you do outside Rock of Ages? Does it pertain to the music and theatre?
I am currently performing at Finding Nemo the Musical in Animal Kingdom, I perform in several a cappella groups with Penguin Entertainment, and I also work at the World of Chocolate Museum and Cafe as a Lead Tour Guide!
8.) What type of mind blowing experience can we prepare for Rock of Ages?
Just a hell of a lot of energy, great music that you already know and love, and tons of laughs! It’s unlike any other musical out there… I mean, it’s like a concert and a show at the same time, because of the live band on stage.

9.) Why would people what to come to this show? Will it change your life?

It’s hilarious, and its nothin’ but a good time! The role of Lonny is a bucket list character, so in a way, yes. I can finally cross him off the list…and maybe add him again!

10.) For someone who hasn’t seen the musical yet, what can you tell us about it?

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so let’s put it this way. It’s an 80’s Rock and Roll Love story, with insane characters, several twists, and tons of fog. Throw in your favorite 80’s songs, and Boom – Awesome sauce.

11.) Can you elaborate on how creative this musical is?

Live band on stage, familiar music, and you can drink while watching it? That’s my kind of musical.

12.) What can you expect when you leave Rock of Ages?

When I leave, I will be exhausted, because my character is absolutely balls crazy. But when the audience leaves, they will leave the show saying, “Wow, that Lonny character is so handsome.” Lol. On a serious note, the show is honestly a rock your socks of kind of show where you will not want it to end. Once you hear the first chord of a new song, you immediately know what song it is, get flashbacks of when you first heard the song, and start nodding your head. This cast is so freakin’ talented, that I know everyone who walks in that theater will leave with a smile, a good time, and will seriously start contemplating bringing back mullets.

Stephen Alan (Stacee Jaxx)

jaxx

1.) How did you become involved with the Broadway Musical Rock of Ages and why?

A friend of the Producer/Director saw me singing with my band Mad As Adam and recommended me to audition. Some of my favorite bands have songs in the score, so I grew up listening and singing most of the songs in the production. I also thought it would be a lot of fun to play an over-the-top 80’s Rockstar. I was right! It’s a blast!!!

2.) What are your day to day routines and set up for Rock of Ages?

Getting in better physical shape before rehearsals started was first on the list to do. Not only is the show vocally challenging but it’s also very physically demanding. Now it’s just about maintaining both the voice and body strength. Proper warm-ups and stretching in both areas is essential every day.

3.) What is it like practicing for Rock of Ages?

It’s a lot of hard work! But we have so much fun together as a cast! It’s a great group of people!

4.) Why did you want to audition?

I have been a Rock ‘n’ Roll singer exclusively for over 20 years. When this opportunity arose I thought it would be a perfect fit for me. So I went for it. Considering it was my first audition in all that time, I feel very fortunate that I was chosen to play Stacee Jaxx.

5.) What was your process for the audition and how did you receive the part?

I sent a video of me singing parts of a couple of the songs from the show to Scott, our Director/ Producer, and he brought me in for call-backs. The singing part was easy for me since that’s what I do. But I was a little worried about the acting and dancing. However, Scott saw enough potential in me in both areas to cast me in the role.

6.) Tell me a little bit about your background, and what lead to receiving the part in Rock of Ages?

I actually have a theater degree from the University of Central Florida. It was in the technical side of theater not performance; so most of my time was spent behind the scenes not on stage. However, I am no stranger to the stage. I grew up singing in the choirs of church and in some early-life school productions. I have played multiple musical instruments in my life and am very accustomed to being on a stage. Once I got into playing rock music I never looked back. I’ve been doing that for many years now and nothing compares to being on stage singing, playing guitar, and looking out at my fans smiling, singing along, and having a great time! That is what ultimately led to getting this part.

7.) What do you do outside Rock of Ages? Does it pertain to the music and theater?

Currently I work as a Crematory Operator. That’s right I said Crematory Operator; but my passion will always be music. My band Mad As Adam plays around the Central Florida area. You can find our music on iTunes and Amazon.com.

 

jaxx 2

8.) What type of mind blowing experience can we prepare for Rock of Ages?

I think it’s both sonically and visually mind blowing! Prepare for an in-your-face spectacle of Rock ‘n’ Roll decadence.

9.) Why would people what to come to this show? Will it change your life?

This is not what I would classify as your typical musical production. It’s filled with mostly 80’s rock songs interwoven with a crazy story line. It’s sinfully sexy and highly comedic. So if you’re “looking for nothin’ but a good time” then this is the show for you!! I’m not sure it will change my life in a major way, but it is a new experience for me, and if I can expose my voice to a different audience then that can only benefit me.

10.) For someone who hasn’t seen the musical yet, what can you tell us about it?

Set in the late 80’s on L.A.’s Sunset strip, it’s a high-powered rock ‘n’ roll spectacle. It’s got love, turmoil, drama, protest, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Did I mention rock ‘n’ roll? Ok you get the idea!!!

11.) Can you elaborate on how creative this musical is?

I think it’s very creative. To take a bunch of hit songs from that time period and weave a story throughout them is genius. Plus it’s just a lot of fun!

12.) What can you expect when you leave Rock of Ages?

I hesitate to say I expect anything from my time with this show. However, I have the utmost respect for my fellow cast mates and the entire TheatreWorks Florida organization. If I can earn their respect and their friendship then I will have gained quite a lot, and that is something I will forever treasure.

Scott A. Cook (Producer/Director/Choreographer)

1.) How did you get involved with Rock Of Ages and why?

Ever since I saw Rock Of Ages when it first opened on Broadway, I knew I wanted to do the show one day. I grew up with this music and it has stayed in my heart and soul all my life. Last October 2015, TheatreWorks Florida received the rights to produce the Central FL regional premiere and we took off like a lightning bolt to start producing a wild ride for our audiences.

2.) What are the day to day routines and set up for Rock of Ages?

Day to day is a blur! From all the design meetings, technical issues and marketing preparations to preparing staging and choreography for hours to get ready for night rehearsals, there has been little time for sleep since January of this year. LOL!

3.) What has it been like practicing for Rock of Ages?

Very exhausting. This is an extremely high-energy show that just doesn’t let up. There are incredibly demanding vocals, huge amounts of athletic choreography and a script that trips along like a train. We have been in rehearsal since AUG 7 but it seems so much longer because I work my cast very hard every night. We have almost staged the entire show in less than 2 weeks.

4.) Why did you want to audition for Rock of Ages?

N/A

5.) Can you tell me how the audition process was? And how the stars received the part?
It’s a vocal show. It started by choosing the RIGHT voices. Not typical musical theater voices but powerhouse, gritty rock voices. Once we got past that portion of auditions, the even harder part began with large amounts of choreography and finally matching up acting skills to each character in the show.

6.) Tell me a little bit about the background of the cast; what it lead to them getting the part in Rock of Ages.

Our cast is very diverse. In Rock Of Ages, I believe this is our key to success because they all are very REAL people. The talents of each actor are superb and they have all found a common understanding of the story which has brought them together in the world of the play as if it’s really happening.

7.) What is the price range to purchase for tickets?

$26.75 – $39.95. Tickets on sale now at drphillipscenter.org

8.) Who are the stars of Rock of Ages? And what do they do outside of Rock of Ages?

The actors who play DREW (Justin J. Scarlat), SHERRIE (Kayla Alvarez), STACEE JAXX (Stephen Alan), DENNIS (Casey Sweeney) and LONNIE (Christopher Jones) are the leads but this is a VERY ensemble show. They all have different day jobs in the Central FL area plus they devote 4 hours a night to rehearsals. Exhausting indeed.

9.) It is obvious the music behind Rock of Ages is stated in the name of the Broadway musical, but can you tell the fans what type of music will the show be covering?

The show covers the glam rock, metal and big hair bands of the 80s. Bon Jovi, Styx, Poison, Whitesnake and Pat Benatar just to name a few.

10.) When can you tell us the dates to see the show?

Sept 28 – Oct 9, 2016. For more information, visit TheatreWorks Florida on Facebook at facebook.com/theatreworksfl or our web page theatreworksfl.org.

11.) Where is the venue for Rock of Ages?

Dr. Phillips Center in the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater. (downtown Orlando, FL)

12.) When is the premiere date?

Opening night is Sept 28, 2016.

13.) What type of mind-blowing experience can we prepare for Rock of Ages?

I’ve created the show to be a true rock concert experience. This includes a live rock band right on stage who portray the “house band” of the Bourbon Room bar on the LA Strip where the show takes place. My hope is to take people back to a time when this music was everything every minute of the day and recreate the sounds and memories of an era when rock and roll was the epicenter of life.

14.) What is it like to watch Rock of Ages to someone who hasn’t seen the Broadway musical?

I think people are going to blown away with the entire over the top, powerhouse experience. It starts with all the music you know and love then adds a very funny, fresh original story to create a world of excitement and face melting rock.

15.) Why would people want to come to this show? How amazing is Rock of Ages? Will it change your life?

It’s all about the music and the way it rocks your soul. Even if you didn’t grow up with this music, you’re going to leave and want it in your collection very soon afterward. The 80s bands chosen to score the musical created timeless songs and it is an honor to be working on a show driven by their passion.

16.) Can you elaborate on how creative this musical is?

Rock Of Ages is extremely creative and very nostalgic. The story is completely original and transports us to a time where the 80s rockers truly thrived on the music and made it a way of life. New arrangements of already familiar music are totally blown away. And the staging is fantastic. I’ve gotten to take this music and choreograph the hell out to tell the story on stage.

17.) What can you expect when you leave Rock of Ages?

You can expect to need to come back and relive it all again. And again. And again… this music will always live on for everyone it touches.

Shannon Kropf (Music Director)

1.) How did you become involved with the Broadway Musical Rock of Ages and why?

A friend mentioned to me that TheatreWorks Florida would be doing Rock of Ages in 2016 and a voice inside me said, “Hey! You’re going to be the Music Director for this show!” I completely forgot about it until—funnily enough—I saw a posting for the MD position. I met with Scott Cook, Creative Producer for TheatreWorks Florida, and we hit it off like crazy. And now here we are, ready to rock!

2.) What are your day to day routines and set up for Rock of Ages?

We have a “call sheet” for each night which tells us what we’ll be working on (choreography, music, staging), and for which part. My daily routine is to focus on the parts we’re working that evening, making sure that all the music is lined up, I’m personally rehearsed and ready to lead the music. I’ll also spend some time working on the SICK keyboard patches that are part of making this show so amazing—and SO 80’s! I also communicate with the band and singers and get focused on the drive down to the rehearsal facility.

3.) What is it like practicing for Rock of Ages?

It’s chill-inducing! Seriously, hearing these guys sing is inspiring, and then they pop off and do these freaking amazing dance moves. This cast is the funniest, kindest, and most bad-ass cast it’s ever been my pleasure to work with.

4.) Why did you want to audition?

Rock of Ages was a “must-do” show for me.

5.) What was your process for the audition and how did you receive the part?

As the Music Director, I went through an interview process with the Creative Producer and Company Manager. My background is in rock and popular music AND in musical theater, and they agreed with me that I am uniquely suited to bring this music to life! It was a great fit right from the start.

6.) Tell me a little bit about your background, and what lead to receiving the part in Rock of Ages?

I’ve been playing music professionally for around 30 years, and teaching music at the collegiate level since 2000. I started hanging out in the theater world when I was 12 or so, and I’ve been a part of the cast, crew, or music ensemble for so many shows that I’ve lost count. I love being a music leader and cultivating the absolute very best performance from the actors and singers. It’s really an honor to be a part of the process with such talented artists.

7.) What do you do outside Rock of Ages? Does it pertain to the music and theater?

Yep! I teach History of Popular Music in Full Sail University’s Music Production Bachelor of Science, and I’m the Music Director at Christ Church Unity Orlando.

8.) What type of mind blowing experience can we prepare for Rock of Ages?

This band and these singers are going to BLOW YOUR HEAD OFF from the first note to the last. Powerhouse rock and sexy dancing and hysterically funny dialog!

9.) Why would people what to come to this show? Will it change your life?

People who experience this show will feel the irresistible urge to sing along, and will leave feeling uplifted and joyous. If it doesn’t change your life, it will certainly remind you how amazing life is! And who can resist a great party?!

10.) For someone who hasn’t seen the musical yet, what can you tell us about it?

I love this show. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Of course I expected great music, but the show is truly funny as well. It’s also sexy as hell!

11.) Can you elaborate on how creative this musical is?

This production of Rock of Ages is incredibly creative. The choreography is incredible, and let me just say…slow motion scenes!

12.) What can you expect when you leave Rock of Ages?

You can expect to leave with at least one song stuck in your head and a great big smile on your face. The 80’s rule!

 

Full of liquor, groupies, rock and roll, lycra, and lace! With music swindling down your spine, through your ears, Rock of Ages is certain not to be missed!
The Broadway Musical will be premiering at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, Florida from September 28-October 9th. Make sure to purchase your tickets soon!

 

biggest party ever

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