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'Rock of Ages' has the beat but lacks the oomph of past productions

Current 'Rock of Ages' is a rocky ride
Current 'Rock of Ages' is a rocky ride
Broadway in Chicago

Fans of “Rock of Ages” will find some things about the production at the Bank of America Theatre now through March 16, to like and other things, not so good.

A Tony nominated “jukebox” musical, “Rock of Ages” has picked up a cult following since appearing 2006 in Los Angeles and 2009 on Broadway. So, fans can and do compare it to other productions.

The lead, Drew, a musician/songwriter/singer wannabe from Detroit is still fairly well played by Dominique Scott, a favorite in past shows.

However, except of Joshua Hobbs who does Stacee Jaxx as an over-the-top rock idol, the other roles come across just okay but not inspiring or performed as well as in other productions.

Part of the problem may have been the sound and a short time to adjust to the venue.

The lighting is what you want for a rock concert and the music “rocks” the audience with a terrific beat. Songs include such favorites as “I Want to Know What Love Is” and “Harden My Heart.”

But it is hard to hear the spoken and sung words, particularly if sitting under the mezzanine. And the cast did not look comfortable interacting.

That said, the show is still a fun, though rocky ride through some of the hit songs of the 1980s via a vehicle of a love and dreaming-big story set down on L.A.’s Sunset Strip.

Details: “Rock of Ages” is at the Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe Street, Chicago, IL now through March 16, 2014. For tickets and more information visit Broadway in Chicago or call 800-775-2000.

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