Oh, to be the costume designer for Rock of Ages…
Get your lighters ready and start imagining your local multiplex is just a big old arena filled with sweaty, drunk, headbanging big-haired people. Variety reports that Rock of Ages, the off Broadway musical is being made into a feature film. New Line, along with about 800 other production companies, has picked up the rights to the mini-hit.
What? You’ve never heard of Rock of Ages? Well, as noted, it’s an off-Broadway musical that opened last fall. It has a flimsy plot that has something to do with a romance set inside an LA rock club, but it’s really just an excuse to whip out a bunch of ’80s tunes belted out by people with large hair, spandex, ripped t-shirts, and other ’80s rock garb. See, this is not the ’80s of Flock of Seagulls, New Order, or anyone of that New Wave ilk. This is the ’80s of Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Journey, Poison, Survivor, and Whitesnake (the song list is here for anyone brave enough to check it out). Despite next to no advertising, the show’s become a reasonably reliable hit (tourists looooove jukebox musicals! and they love nostalgia! In fact, nothing is a surer thing than nostalgic jukebox musicals!).
Mamma Mia’s huge box office success has made musicals–especially those with ready made hit scores–a more welcome prospect than they have been in years. Sure, Chicago won Oscars, but it made nowhere near the money of Mamma Mia, with songs that audiences could sing along to. Rock of Ages is no doubt expected to draw in the same type of crowd.
No word yet on casting, of course, or whether it will feature stars singing or stars lip-synching to others’ singing.