ROCK OF AGES, the critically acclaimed, five-time Tony Award® nominated Broadway musical, which continues to play to sell out houses on Broadway, across the United Sates and Toronto, will open at the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne, on Saturday 9 April 2011.
Following a massive casting search across Australia and New Zealand with the final audition in New York for the role of Drew, two brilliant young performers have been cast as the lead characters in this high energy 80’s Broadway love story.
“There was little doubt having seen ROCK OF AGES on Broadway that the leading role of Drew was going to be one of the most challenging roles in musical theatre to cast. After casting the entire company we continued our search for Drew for another two months, when in Melbourne, having heard about ROCK OF AGES, Justin Burford walked in, auditioned and then flew to New York for the final audition with the Broadway creative team and producing group – we had found our Drew!” said Producer Rodney Rigby.
With a couple of ARIAs under his belt, an APRA nomination for ‘Song of the Year’, record sales reaching Platinum status and sold out tours in Australia and internationally with his band End Of Fashion, Justin Burford will make his stage debut in ROCK OF AGES playing Drew. Born and raised in Perth, Justin began his musical career at age 17 and in 2001, he joined acclaimed group The Sleepy Jackson. He went on to form End of Fashion, taking on the role of lead singer, guitarist and principal song-writer. End of Fashion has released two albums and is currently working on a third.
Amy Lehpamer will play Sherrie. Amy’s theatre credits include Malthouse/Victorian Opera’s acclaimed The Threepenny Opera, The Production Company’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Follies, Eddie Perfect’s Shane Warne The Musical. Amy is featured in the HBO/Dreamworks series The Pacific.
ROCK OF AGES is a hilarious, feel-good love story told through the hit songs: I Want to Know What Love Is, Don’t Stop Believin’, High Enough, The Final Countdown, We Built This City and More Than Words by iconic rockers Foreigner, Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Poison, Starship, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake and many more. Set in 1987 on the Sunset Strip, Drew is a big-city dreamer who desperately wants to be a rocker, and works in L.A.’s most legendary club. He meets Sherrie, and they fall in love to the greatest songs of the ’80s. It’s an awesomely good time where big hair meets big dreams in a Rock ‘n’ Roll comedy romance.
Producer Carl Levin said “We can’t wait to open in Melbourne next year, and the Australian cast we’ve chosen is just brilliant”, whilst Matt Weaver, Producer said “Even when Rock Of Ages was playing in a bar on Hollywood Boulevard we would dream about one day playing in Australia…it’s a dream come true”.
ROCK OF AGES was nominated for five Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical, and Best Sound Design for a Musical.
New Line Records released the Original Broadway Cast Recording in June 2009; it features 28 songs from the show. ROCK OF AGES opened on Broadway in April 2009 followed by Toronto in April 2010, whilst the US National Tour opened in September this year. Productions in London, Las Vegas, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Japan and Korea will follow Melbourne’s opening.
The ROCK OF AGES cast includes – Rachel Bickerton, Francine Caine, Brendan Coustley, Rachel Dunham, Alexander Ellis, Samantha Hagen, Lincoln Hall, Anthony Harkin, Melanie Hawkins, Brent Hill, Shaye Hopkins, John O’Hara, Jensen Overend, Thern Reynolds, Ellen Sutton, David Whitney and marks Michael Falzon’s return to the Australian stage from London.
ROCK OF AGES will be produced in Melbourne with the support of the Victorian Major Events Company.
Picture: Michael Falzon – Back From London