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Rock of Ages - Shaftesbury Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ROCK OF Ages, the hit Broadway rock/jukebox musical, will receive its West End premiere at the Shaftesbury Theatre, where it begins preview performances on August 31, 2011.

Set on the Sunset Strip of 1987, Rock of Ages is the story of Drew, a busboy and aspiring rocker who chases his dreams to Los Angeles’ most famous rock club, where he meets Sherrie, a small-town girl newly arrived from Kansas.

Rock of Ages is built around classic rock hits from the 1980s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of the decade, and features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Asiaand, among others.

It includes more than 20 hits, such as I Wanna Rock, Cum on Feel the Noize, Waiting for a Girl Like You, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, The Final Countdown, Don’t Stop Believin’ and I Want to Know What Love Is.

However, the title track by Def Leppard is not included because Universal Music Group did not allow the producers to get licenses for their songs.

Rock of Ages, which has a book by Chris D’Arienzo, premiered in Los Angeles in 2006. In October 2008, it opened Off-Broadway and the following April transferred to Broadway’s Brooks Atkinston Theater. Although temporarily closed in the Big Apple, it’s scheduled to reopen later this month at the Helen Hayes Theater.

In 2009, Rock of Ages was nominated for five Tony Awards but converted none, the year’s big winner being Billy Elliot The Musical. The show is currently touring Australia and America, with a screen adaption starring Tom Cruise planned for 2012.

The Shaftesbury Theatre has been largely dark since the premature closure of Flashdance the Musical on January 15, 2011. However, prior to Rock of Ages, Derren Brown’s new show Svengali runs for a limited season from June 8 to July 16, 2011.

Find out about the Tom Cruise movie version