By AMANDA BOWES
Big hair, big music, big guitar solos and big egos come together in Rock of Ages – High School edition next Thursday and Friday.
The Hurunui College senior school will have the audience hard pressed to stay in their seats as iconic songs from bands like REO Speedwagon, Twisted Sister, Night Ranger, Styx and Whitesnake are belted out while songs from artists like Pat Benetar and Bon Jovi will give those who were teenagers in the 80s a trip down memory lane.
Rock of Ages centres around the Bourbon Room, one of the Sunset Strip’s (Hollywood) last legendary venues where lycra, heavy metal and aqua net is the norm.
It is the end of the 80s and much adored rocker Stacee Jaxx takes centre stage.
He doesn’t realise he and his band Arsenal are riding at the end of an era and has groupies still clamouring for autographs.
Down trodden toilet cleaner, Drew, is an aspiring rock star who wants to take on the stage and is also yearning for small town girl, Sherrie, from Kansas who like Drew, has stars in her eyes.
Life in the rock and roll fast lane is threatened when German developers ride in and want to turn the fabled Sunset Strip into another capitalistic strip mall.
Drew, Sherrie and the gang try to save the strip and themselves before their lives are changed forever, but only the music from the 80s bands hold the answers to their problems.
The musical, written by Chris D’Arienzo, is the 27th longest running on Broadway and has been nominated for the Tony Award several times.
The high school edition has been adapted so that teenage voices can cope with the rock anthems and the script adjusted to reduce some of the raunchier aspects of the original.
The leads in the Hurunui College are played by Morgan Bailey as Stacee Jaxx, Douglas Quigley plays Drew, Briar Sparks takes the role of Sherrie and Eli Bullmore plays the bar owner Dennis.
Singing teacher, Sarah Cassidy, has put her all into taking on the role as Producer and Phil Biddlecombe is musical director. Several staff from the college have also jumped on board to help bring the production to life.
Rock of Ages will be held on Thursday June 29 and Friday June 30 starting at 7.30pm. Doors open at the college gym from 7pm.