‘Don’t Stop Believin’: High school production explores banner rock titles in ‘Rock of Ages’ | SkyHiNews.com

‘Don’t Stop Believin’: High school production explores banner rock titles in ‘Rock of Ages’

Students with the Middle Park High School Theater Department hold dress rehearsal ahead of their actual performances this week.
Nic Lawrence / Sky-Hi News |


What: "Rock of Ages," the newest production of the Middle Park Theater Dept..

When: 7:30 p.m. March 22, 23 and 24 Where: Middle Park High School

Rock on!

The Middle Park High School Theater Department invited students to attend their first, uninterrupted dress rehearsal of the 2018 spring theater production on March 14, coming in preparation for the real performances this week. After the success of last year’s fall musical, theater director Crystal McDougal and the cast decided to continue the tradition.

This time they are putting on “Rock of Ages,” a PG-rated jukebox Broadway musical originally by Chris D’Arienzo.

The story is based around one song, “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. And, just as the song goes, a small-town girl and a city boy fall in love.

The cast is performing a version that is appropriate for high school. But this does not take away from the narrative, nor the characters. If you’ve ever seen “Rock of Ages,” the Broadway play or the 2012 movie starring Tom Cruise, you’ll feel at home as the story is brought straight to life by local Middle Park students. The actors had only three months to practice for this long musical, and it’s easy to see how hard they have worked. With nightly rehearsals that can last for up to four hours, they have poured heart and soul into preparing for the show.

While sitting in the auditorium, the audience is brought to — or possibly brought back to — the era of 80s rock and roll. The costumes consist of knee-high boots, leather pants, shiny shirts and fingerless gloves. There is a brilliant tech crew who, through lighting and sound, create the effect of real clubs and bars.

Even though there was still a week until the premiere, the actors had most of their lines memorized, with continued work on delivering them with the attitude and funk of a punk rocker.

The best part, though? The music.

The student actors belt out classic 80s rock songs, classics like “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” and the pinnacle, “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

If you are looking for a very fun night of laughter and maybe even nostalgia over the weekend, then look no further than the Middle Park High School Spring Musical “Rock of Ages.” The entire cast and crew are looking forward to sharing their hard work with the community. Performances are on Thursday, March 22 and again on the 23 and 24. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

Nic Lawrence is a senior at Middle Park High School. He is an intern at Sky-Hi News.

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