By Elyana Schosek, Student Reporter
Since late September, a cast and crew of about 40 students at Springville-Griffith Middle School have been working consistently with their music teacher, Katherine Cummings, in preparation for their upcoming production of “Rock of Ages.”
“‘Rock of Ages’ is an exciting, high energy, ‘80s rock musical,” Cummings noted.
The show will be presented at Springville Griffith High School’s Lyle G. Palmer Auditorium on Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8. The show will begin at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at www.springvillegi.org.
For anyone who does not know the story: Narrator Lonny Barnett (played by Justin Simmons) tells the tale of city boy, Drew (Christian Safford) and small town girl Sherrie (Arika Leatherbarrow) as they set out to make their big dreams come true in L.A. The pair meets while working for Dennis Dupree (Jackson Crone) at the legendary ‘temple of rock-n-roll’, the Dupree Room.
Drew and Sherrie have support and encouragement from Justice (Ayla Oakley) as they work toward success on the Sunset Strip. Things are just starting to go well for Sherrie and Drew when German developers (Gabrielle Cerasani and Lucien Oakley) show up with plans to tear down the Sunset Strip and the Dupree Room to build a strip mall.
Recently fired from the Mayor’s office, city planner, Regina (Gracie Gilcrist) leads the citizens and supporters of LA’s Rock and Roll culture in protesting the plans. Meanwhile, Stacee Jaxx (Braden Steiner). lead singer of Arsenal. agrees to perform their last concert at the Dupree Room before embarking on his solo career.
Will the famous rocker distract Sherrie from what she really wants? Can the gang save the strip and make all their dreams come true in time for a happy ending? Step back in time with the rock music of Journey, Styx, Bon Jovi and more from the ‘80s to find out.
After nearly two months of rehearsing daily, the actors, actresses and crew are finally ready for the upcoming show.
Seeing as Rock of Ages is a rock show, “the vocal style is very different from typical shows,” Cummings said.
Cummings and the others involved in choosing the show and preparing for it have put lots of effort into this task. One of the main aspects that they look at when choosing is knowing the students they expected to participate, the number of students expected and their vocal and acting abilities.
“We also try to choose a well-rounded variety of show styles over a three year period,” Cummings said. This is done to ensure that the students who participate all three years they are in middle school get experience in multiple types of shows.
“For example, this year’s eighth graders have done a fairy tale farce, a well-known classic piece of American musical theatre and now a rock-style show,” she explained.
Over the course of two months, the cast and crew often get to know each other if they didn’t already.
“By the end of the process, they work very well as a team,” Cummings said.
If you have any interest in ‘80s rock music or musicals in general, you are highly encouraged to join these hard-working students and their director to view the results of their effort in their presentation of “Rock of Ages.”