<em>Rock of Ages</em>

What’s the next best thing to touring in a successful glam metal band? How about touring in a successful musical about glam metal bands? When Rock of Ages hits S.B. this week, a little bit of State Street will be jammed with a whole lotta Sunset Strip circa 1987, the height of an era when hair bands and exotic dancers were strutting their stuff in such famous spots as the Seventh Veil and the Whisky a Go Go. Last week I spoke with actor Matt Ban, who plays Dennis Dupree, the owner of the show’s Bourbon Room, the Strip nightspot where most of the Rock of Ages action goes down.

“We’re in Atlantic City right now,” Ban said, “and the audience last night was full of wild bachelorette parties. Rock of Ages attracts outgoing audiences, and we like that.” When asked about the appeal of the show to people wearing tiaras and taking shots, Ban observed, “What separates Rock from other jukebox musicals is that these songs are already really meaningful to people. They bring their own memories to each number, and that really amps it up.”

Asked if he had a favorite song in the show, Ban said, “Well, I’m from New Jersey, so I should probably pick the Bon Jovi number, but I’m going to be honest and admit that Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ gets me every time. It’s just such a monster. It has to be one of the best finales in any musical.”

But even if you don’t remember the hits of Whitesnake, Slayer, REO Speedwagon, Journey, and Pat Benatar, Rock of Ages can still be for you. Theater League is inviting students with a valid ID to purchase balcony tickets to the show for half price. Rock of Ages hits the Granada Theatre (1214 State St.) this Tuesday, September 18, and Wednesday, September 19, at 8 p.m. For tickets and info, call 899-2222 or visit theaterleague.com.


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