It’s the 80’s all over again

March 4, 2016

Just friends!? Senior Haley Pagel plays the leading lady, Sherry. Pagel sang beautifully throughout the show and gave a spectacular performance.

photo by Chad Mitchell Photography

Just friends!? Senior Haley Pagel plays the leading lady, Sherry. Pagel sang beautifully throughout the show and gave a spectacular performance.

Rock of Ages, written by Chris D’Arienzo, was the perfect choice for Meridian Drama Club’s first performance in the new auditorium.

After attending the dress rehearsal for the show on Thursday evening, it is obvious a lot of time, effort and dedication went into the making of this year’s musical. Nothing is perfect, but this production comes pretty close to it. The only mishaps I was able to catch during the show was a few minor technical difficulties and a few bruises here and there, though you can’t even see them from the audience. The show is approximately two and a half hours long, including a fifteen-minute intermission, but by the end you will be wishing for it to never end.

There are aspects of the show that you cannot deny were brilliant and beautiful. The Rock of Ages set we were able to borrow from Springfield Theatre Center was superb, the voices of our actors were divine, and the choreography was wow. Seniors Nicole Cromwell, Ally Jahns, and Josselin Sheumaker came up with the choreography for the performance, and it is absolutely riveting. The dancing on stage had energy and tastefulness, filling the auditorium with a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Wat up wit dat hair? Senior Travis Robinson plays rocker Stacee Jax. Though his character's hair and personality is wild, Robinson's voice was absolutely perfect for the roll.
Chad Mitchell Photography
Wat up wit dat hair? Senior Travis Robinson plays rocker Stacee Jax. Though his character’s hair and personality are wild, Robinson’s voice was absolutely perfect for the role.

Have you ever heard of the fourth wall? The fourth wall is that wall that separates the characters and plot from the audience. Usually, this wall is left untouched by the writers, but in Rock of Ages, they took a wrecking ball to the wall. This added humor, depth, and uniqueness to the show. This wall was knocked down not once, not twice, but many times, most notably by Lonny, played by Ian Carnahan, when he narrated the show, called out a few people by name in the audience for a joke and interacted with the audience. Breaking the fourth wall really helps to involve the audience in the show, almost as if you are a part of this 80’s rocker fest yourself.

If you are going to the show be prepared to laugh. The show features many jokes by almost all of the characters, not all of which are spoken. From the witty lines between characters or said to the audience, to the hidden jokes, to senior Cole Babcock in a leotard.

Yes, Babcock in a leotard.

The show is not just a comedy though, there are multiple love stories playing out in the plot, covering different types of relationships from boy meets girl, to long distance, and even characters Lonny (Ian Carnahan) and Dennis (Beau Kallenbach) falling in love. And do not forget to watch out for Meridian’s first on-stage kiss in years!

They are bringing leotards back! Seniors Audrey Durbin (Ragina) and Cole Babcock (Franz) play the quirky and adorable couple of the show. When it comes to their singing, Durbin sounded beautiful as always and I personally did not know Babcock could make his voice go that high.
Chad Mitchell Photography
They are bringing leotards back! Seniors Audrey Durbin (Regina) and Cole Babcock (Franz) play the quirky and adorable couple of the show. When it comes to their singing, Durbin sounded beautiful as always and I personally did not know Babcock could make his voice go that high.

Have you ever become emotional over a movie or play? Only the best of acting can make the audience feel something, and our cast does exactly that. Not only was I getting chills during multiple songs (thank you Jake Deetz), but I actually began crying, and so did some of the cast when they sang “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” (seniors Carter Duffer, Lauren Duffer, Audrey Durbin, Cole Babcock, Haley Pagel, and Travis Robinson, and sophomore Jake Deetz).

There are many different thoughts that will go through your mind during this performance. Possibilities including, but not limited to: “What is he wearing? I didn’t know he could make his voice go so high, and, “How do they have so much energy?”.

Rock of Ages will only be performing for two nights, March 4 and 5, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Many of the cast and crew are seniors, making this their last year in Drama. Make sure you witness the show before their final curtain call, or you might regret not doing so later.

Meridian students get in free for the show with their activity pass, and tickets can be purchased for either $7 or $10 at www.meridiandrama.com.

Get ready to rock Meridian, because the 80’s are here.

Oh, and there’s a dog, too. In case that persuades you to see it more.

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