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ROCK OF AGES ****** The Venetian Resort and Casino Las Vegas http://www.rockofagesvegas.com/ When you first enter the venue (not huge, but still a respectable size) you find yourself surrounded by neon signs and posters all reminiscent of the somewhat trashy appeal represented by our beloved glam metal bands of the 80s.  The elevation enables you to see everything quite well, no matter where your places are located. The stage evokes the feeling of a smaller show, but the seats are very comfortable, the restrooms are right around the corner; therefore you can settle in comfortably and wait for all the fun to begin, while eagerly holding the little lighter you receive when you come in. Simply thrilled to swing it into action as soon as possible, conveniently forgetting all the times in the past when you laughed at the sappy people solemnly waving theirs. The musical starts with hilarious do&don’ts, where you learn that photography is frowned upon, unless you are a hot chick prepared to show them your breasts, as well as some other good news. Already entertained, you are swiftly introduced to bright lights, loud and energetic music and several lovely female performers wearing sexy lingerie, stockings (with or without suspender belts) and maybe a miniscule skirt here and there. The costumes can certainly be considered rather bold and erotically inclined, however somehow they manage to perfectly fit into the atmosphere of the show without looking cheap. Despite the very suggestive, ever-not-so-subtle dancing routines that will have you perk up with joyous anticipation. Or have you darkly mumble vivid statements about the lost morals of today’s society.  In which case Las Vegas (also known as, ehem, Sin City) might not be your ideal vacationing spot. Leather, chains and studs appear to belong to the designers’ most cherished materials, and the pants worn by men enable us to see every little detail of our Lord’s creation, if you catch my drift. If you don’t, then let me just blandly tell you: those suckers are tight!  The hairdos featured in the show would suffice to make any style-conscious person absolutely suicidal. What’s even worse: actual people did wear their manes like that back in the day! Oh shame, oh horror!  I always say: the 80s provided us with the best music and the absolutely worst fashion in the last five centuries! Come to think of it I might even venture back as far as the cavemen, although the fondness for wild hair and wearing animal skins can certainly be seen as a feature enthusiastically shared by both. Despite the tacky look the performers are undeniably hot, with incredible bodies (Jon Robert Hall’s, a.k.a. Stacee Jaxx’s physique blew me away so much I had to force my jaw shut) and gorgeous faces. Even the slightly chubby ones wear their extra pounds very attractively. The overall artistic level does not disappoint, most of the voices sound amazing (especially Justin Mortelliti as Drew, Jon Robert Hall as Stacee Jaxx or Markesha McCoy as Justice). The only critical observation I would like to share at this point is the fact that Carrie St. Louis as Sherrie, although beautiful and very talented, seemed to be a tad below the vocal abilities of her colleagues.  The singers are accompanied by a live band playing the entire time on a small Bourbon Room stage in the back. The dancers don’t just remain on stage throughout the duration of the show, they run around quite a lot and now and then you may discover several of them gyrating their hips seductively next to your assigned seat. For a moment you can even imagine that you are now in possession of your very own groupies! If you were ever into the 80s music (maybe even spent your youth in this enchanting decade), then this musical will bring back all kinds of nostalgic sensations. I was too young to experience the whole movement first-hand, I am, however, a huge fan of all the 80s hard rock bands, therefore I could not have been more ecstatic than when surrounded by this delicious tackiness (visually) and top-notch renditions of some of my favorite songs (musically). Here are just a few of the titles performed for your hearing pleasure:  More Than Words, I Want To Know What Love Is, Here I Go Again, Any Way You Want It, Keep On Loving You or Don’t Stop Believin’. The whole production has a very animated, vivacious vibe to it enhanced by great lighting and graphic elements such as pre-recorded bits running on big screens in the background (the music obviously being the main element). The show contains a lot of humor, some of it slightly crude, but it’s definitely more of a comedy than a drama. The hilarity is based on well established, cookie-cutter model of appealing to the lower instincts of the human nature, but I decided to just throw my inhibitions aside, go with the flow and ended up laughing out loud quite a few times. To finish off I would like to add two more crucial observations. First of all: if you absolutely loved the film version of the musical (starring Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Russel Brand, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mary J. Blige), then you might be a little disappointed, because the original plot presented here shows several significant differences. Some movie characters don’t even appear in the stage production at all (the delightful Ms. Zeta-Jones for example); others will be completely new to you. But if you don’t mind those two adaptations not being the exact copies of one another, the general impression remains very much the same. And secondly: as far as the intermission goes when they say you have 7 minutes “to take a leak”, they are not kidding. I ran to the restroom and got in right away, but after I came out there was a huge, at least 10-minute line. So try to get there as fast as you can, otherwise you will miss a part of the show! I would definitely recommend this production to anybody ready for a sentimental journey back to the 80s, but also to those, who simply want to experience a really funny, high-energy musical. Rock of Ages will surely put you in a great mood, make your feet itch and maybe even motivate you to dust-off a few of your spectacular moves at a nearby bar or club. Whatever you do, however, please remember: anything goes except the horrible, dreadful tight pants. For the sake of humanity, don’t let your inspiration go that far. Never the tight pants!

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ROCK OF AGES ****** The Venetian Resort and Casino Las Vegas http://www.rockofagesvegas.com/ When you first enter the venue (not huge, but still a respectable size) you find yourself surrounded by neon signs and posters all reminiscent of the somewhat trashy appeal represented by our beloved glam metal bands of the 80s.  The elevation enables you to see everything quite well, no matter where your places are located. The stage evokes the feeling of a smaller show, but the seats are very comfortable, the restrooms are right around the corner; therefore you can settle in comfortably and wait for all the fun to begin, while eagerly holding the little lighter you receive when you come in. Simply thrilled to swing it into action as soon as possible, conveniently forgetting all the times in the past when you laughed at the sappy people solemnly waving theirs. The musical starts with hilarious do&don’ts, where you learn that photography is frowned upon, unless you are a hot chick prepared to show them your breasts, as well as some other good news. Already entertained, you are swiftly introduced to bright lights, loud and energetic music and several lovely female performers wearing sexy lingerie, stockings (with or without suspender belts) and maybe a miniscule skirt here and there. The costumes can certainly be considered rather bold and erotically inclined, however somehow they manage to perfectly fit into the atmosphere of the show without looking cheap. Despite the very suggestive, ever- not-so-subtle dancing routines that will have you perk up with joyous anticipation. Or have you darkly mumble vivid statements about the lost morals of today’s society.  In which case Las Vegas (also known as, ehem, Sin City) might not be your ideal vacationing spot. Leather, chains and studs appear to belong to the designers’ most cherished materials, and the pants worn by men enable us to see every little detail of our Lord’s creation, if you catch my drift. If you don’t, then let me just blandly tell you: those suckers are tight!  The hairdos featured in the show would suffice to make any style-conscious person absolutely suicidal. What’s even worse: actual people did wear their manes like that back in the day! Oh shame, oh horror!  I always say: the 80s provided us with the best music and the absolutely worst fashion in the last five centuries! Come to think of it I might even venture back as far as the cavemen, although the fondness for wild hair and wearing animal skins can certainly be seen as a feature enthusiastically shared by both. Despite the tacky look the performers are undeniably hot, with incredible bodies (Jon Robert Hall’s, a.k.a. Stacee Jaxx’s physique blew me away so much I had to force my jaw shut) and gorgeous faces. Even the slightly chubby ones wear their extra pounds very attractively. The overall artistic level does not disappoint, most of the voices sound amazing (especially Justin Mortelliti as Drew, Jon Robert Hall as Stacee Jaxx or Markesha McCoy as Justice). The only critical observation I would like to share at this point is the fact that Carrie St. Louis as Sherrie, although beautiful and very talented, seemed to be a tad below the vocal abilities of her colleagues.  The singers are accompanied by a live band playing the entire time on a small Bourbon Room stage in the back. The dancers don’t just remain on stage throughout the duration of the show, they run around quite a lot and now and then you may discover several of them gyrating their hips seductively next to your assigned seat. For a moment you can even imagine that you are now in possession of your very own groupies! If you were ever into the 80s music (maybe even spent your youth in this enchanting decade), then this musical will bring back all kinds of nostalgic sensations. I was too young to experience the whole movement first-hand, I am, however, a huge fan of all the 80s hard rock bands, therefore I could not have been more ecstatic than when surrounded by this delicious tackiness (visually) and top-notch renditions of some of my favorite songs (musically). Here are just a few of the titles performed for your hearing pleasure:  More Than Words, I Want To Know What Love Is, Here I Go Again, Any Way You Want It, Keep On Loving You or Don’t Stop Believin’. The whole production has a very animated, vivacious vibe to it enhanced by great lighting and graphic elements such as pre-recorded bits running on big screens in the background (the music obviously being the main element). The show contains a lot of humor, some of it slightly crude, but it’s definitely more of a comedy than a drama. The hilarity is based on well established, cookie-cutter model of appealing to the lower instincts of the human nature, but I decided to just throw my inhibitions aside, go with the flow and ended up laughing out loud quite a few times. To finish off I would like to add two more crucial observations. First of all: if you absolutely loved the film version of the musical (starring Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Russel Brand, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mary J. Blige), then you might be a little disappointed, because the original plot presented here shows several significant differences. Some movie characters don’t even appear in the stage production at all (the delightful Ms. Zeta-Jones for example); others will be completely new to you. But if you don’t mind those two adaptations not being the exact copies of one another, the general impression remains very much the same. And secondly: as far as the intermission goes when they say you have 7 minutes “to take a leak”, they are not kidding. I ran to the restroom and got in right away, but after I came out there was a huge, at least 10-minute line. So try to get there as fast as you can, otherwise you will miss a part of the show! I would definitely recommend this production to anybody ready for a sentimental journey back to the 80s, but also to those, who simply want to experience a really funny, high-energy musical. Rock of Ages will surely put you in a great mood, make your feet itch and maybe even motivate you to dust-off a few of your spectacular moves at a nearby bar or club. Whatever you do, however, please remember: anything goes except the horrible, dreadful tight pants. For the sake of humanity, don’t let your inspiration go that far. Never the tight pants!
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