The Alban Arts Center in St. Albans is hosting rehearsals in preparation for the St. Albans theater’s upcoming production of the hard-charging, head-banging Broadway musical “Rock of Ages.”
Marlette Carter will direct the production, with Natasha Allen serving as assistant director. Mark Scarpelli is the musical director.
The original show “was a Broadway jukebox musical,” Carter said, “which is previously written material that is taken and turned into a different narrative. ‘Rock of Ages’ is set in the ‘80s era of glam metal and glam rock bands, such as Whitesnake, Pat Benatar, Poison and Journey.
“It’s just an amazing kind of confluence of really excellent rock and roll,” Carter said. “All of these songs have been woven into a narrative about how dreams evolve in Los Angeles in the Sunset Strip when it was kind of a little seedy and about rock and roll before it got all cleaned up.
“When they made into the movie a few years ago, they altered some of it make it more ‘PG-13,’ but, at least for our area, this is R-rated,” she said. “It does have adult language and adult situations.
“It deals with where your choices go in life and how one thing can lead you down a different path.”
Still, to quote ‘80s rockers Poison, “nothin’ but a good time” is very much in store on the Alban stage.
“This is a comedy,” Carter said, “not really intended to be taken seriously at all. There is all of this great music and nostalgia from the ‘80s. When people came out to audition, there were people who had never done an Alban show, but who had done musicals before, primarily with the Charleston Light Opera Guild. Heather Allen, who plays Sherrie, was Wednesday in their production of ‘The Addams Family.’ The actress playing Regina, who is an activist trying to save the Strip in the show, played Belle in the Light Opera Guild’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ We’ve got all of these amazingly talented people from Charleston coming down here to rock out.”
Carter said the “Rock of Ages” audiences should feel free to rock out as well.
“This would be a really great date play, or get all your girlfriends or guy friends together, put on some 80s-vibe clothing and come down and have a great time.”
Cast members include Heather Allen as Sherrie, Andrew Edwards as Drew, Stephen Hayward as Stacee Jaxx, Kennie Bass as Dennis Dupree, Megan Collins as Regina, Clayton Strohmenger as Lonny and Sheila Jarrett as Justice, joined on stage by Jacob Fleck, Ash Cowder, Leslie Rabb, Jennifer Anderson, Phill Warnock, Cameran Macklin, Lauren Spadafora, Samantha Phalen, Faith Medley and Nikki Ardman.
“Rock of Ages” will be presented at the Alban Arts Center, 65 Olde Main Plaza, St. Albans, Nov. 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees will start at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15 each for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more.
Along with “Rock of Ages,” scheduled upcoming shows at the Alban include:
• “The Colored Museum:” In a series of 11 “exhibits” (sketches), the review explores and satires prominent themes and identities of African-American culture. Performances are slated for Feb. 21-23, 28-29 and March 1.
• “Long Day’s Journey Into Night:” Written by Eugene O’Neill, this Tony Award-winning play revolves around the Tyrone family, consisting of parents James and Mary and their sons, Edmund and Jamie. Mary is addicted to morphine and Edmund is ill with tuberculosis. The “Long Day” refers to the setting of the play, which takes place during a single day.
Shows are scheduled for April 24-26 and May 1-3.
• “A Wrinkle in Time:” “A Wrinkle in Time” is the story of Meg Murry, a high-school-age girl who is transported on an adventure through time and space with her younger brother, Charles Wallace, and her friend, Calvin O’Keefe, to rescue her father, a gifted scientist, from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet.
Shows will be presented June 5-7 and 12-14.
For further information or to order tickets, visit albanartscenter.com or call the Alban Arts Center at 304-721-8896.