Rock of Ages: leather, hairspray and ‘80s hair metal

UWT’s spring production of Rock of Ages

Audio taken by Destiny Valencia | Audio from the cast talking about the production.
Image by Warner Bros. Pictures

Get ready for “Nothin’ But a Good Time” with UWT’s spring production of Rock of Ages in partnership with the Tacoma Little Theatre. This production will be directed by Maria-Tania Bandes B. Weingarden, or Dr. B, as they are also known. 

Rock of Ages is a “jukebox” musical that features a large list of classic rock songs from the 1980s. The plot focuses on a cast of characters who are falling in love and chasing their dreams, all in the name of rock ‘n’ roll. Theatre go-ers can expect to see lots of leather, hairspray and fishnet tights in this production. 

The Tacoma Little Theatre describes the musical as, “Aqua Net, Lycra, lace, and liquor flow freely at one of the Sunset Strip’s last legendary venues in the 1980s. A place where sex machine Stacee Jaxx takes the stage and scantily clad groupies line up to turn their fantasies into reality. Amidst the madness, aspiring rock star (and resident toilet cleaner) Drew longs to take the stage as the next big thing (and longs for Sherri, fresh off the bus from Kansas with stars in her eyes).  

But the fairy-tale is about to end when German developers sweep into town with plans to turn the fabled Strip into just another capitalist strip mall. Can Drew, Sherri, and the gang save the strip, and themselves, before it’s too late? Only the music of hit bands Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, and more hold the answer.” 

“It’s a love story and it’s about dreams and trying to achieve your dreams,” said Dr. B. 

With a large cast of 26 individuals, composed of UWT students and community members, all have gone through a rigorous rehearsal schedule with practices beginning at the start of the quarter in January, Sunday-Thursday 7p.m.- 10p.m. at night.  

“It’s a whole lot of fun, like seeing a mini concert,” said senior Asante Hayes who plays the strip club DJ and is also a part of the men’s ensemble. 

All images as seen in the galley above were taken by Destiny Valencia during a rehersal practice at The Tacoma Little Theatre.

“It’s a good time, the music is amazing, it’s a party… the actors go out into the audience. It’s not your traditional (musical), we hope the audience rocks out with us,” said Dr. B. 

When asked what the cast members favorite song was, all had different answers that ranged from “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard, to “Cum on Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot. 

“I really like ‘Here I Go Again,’ it’s just a fun song,” said junior Elle Tena. 

The director, cast and crew have been working nonstop on this production and are excited for the community to see what they have in store. 

“Buy your tickets and bring your friends, it’s going to be a blast and you won’t come out the same person,” said sophomore Bailey Christie. 

The musical opens Friday, March 3, and closes Sunday, March 26 with an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted show. Performances held on Fridays and Saturdays will start at 7:30p.m. and Sunday shows will be matinees starting at 2p.m. There will be a pay-what-you-can performance on Thursday, March 16 with a show at 7:30p.m.  

Tickets for Rock of Ages are on sale now on the Tacoma Little Theatre’s website. Tickets cost $29 for adults, $27 students/seniors/military and $22 for children 12 & under. UWT students can use coupon code UWT23 during check out for 50% off their ticket.