Attendees to the upcoming Ticket Summit in New York in January should prepare for an ’80s rock invasion: the Tony award-nominated jukebox musical, Rock of Ages, will be providing entertainment at the annual networking cocktail party on January 13.
Featuring the music of Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Poison, and other gods of arena rock, “Rock of Ages” tells a classic “love conquers all” story through popular music. Like other jukebox musicals, the songs in “Rock of Ages” are familiar to anyone who lived through the era and had a radio (and also anyone aware of the recent 80s arena rock revival). Yet “Rock of Ages” is unique in that its music spans a variety of artists—unlike musicals like Mamma Mia!, in which only ABBA songs are performed—all from the hair band, acid-wash era.
Amanda Pekoe, who’s Pekoe Group oversees marketing for the musical, says of the show, “People wind up singing along. It becomes a concert atmosphere so it’s not entirely a traditional Broadway show. It’s a really great, unique experience.” To further play into the concert feel, attendees to the Broadway production at the Brooks Atkinson Theater are given the option of purchasing cans of Coors Light hawked by vendors walking up and down the theater aisles. No wine or champagne here.
After a month of previews, “Rock of Ages” opened on Broadway in April 2008. Since its first performance, the musical has garnered critical praise, including a review in the New York Times, in which the play was called a “seriously silly, absurdly enjoyable arena-rock musical.” The show was nominated for five Tonys, including Best Musical, and another Tony nomination went to lead actor Constantine Maroulis, who appeared in season four of American Idol.
“Rock of Ages” became a part of Ticket Summit NYC through a chance occurrence: a producer of the musical learned about the Summit through a mailing list and approached Pekoe about getting involved. The result: a night of entertainment for summit attendees.
Despite the economic downturn, “Rock of Ages” is doing as well as one might expect, though Pekoe did mention that the industry does feel the effects of the economy moving either up or, in this case, down. “Broadway went through a really tough time,” she said, “but it’s getting its feet back on the ground and shows are succeeding and people are back in the theater and buying tickets.”