JUKEBOX HEROES: The Legends of Rock'n'Roll

Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

21/04/2016 - 30/04/2016

Production Details

JUKEBOX HEROES: The Legends of Rock’n’Roll is a rock concert that will take you from the 1950’s and the beginning of rock’n’roll all the way through to today, with a live band and five talented performers.

Rock’n’roll has been ground-breaking since Bill Haley first rocked around the clock, and this show will focus on the legends that have shaped the music and continued to push boundaries; from the British Invasion to American Idiot, and from Janis Joplin to Alanis Morissette.

Starring Ingrid Crispin, Harriet Dawson, Flora Lloyd, Alex Rabina, and Michael Stebbings

Gryphon Theatre, 21 Ghuznee Street 
21 – 30 April, 7.30pm
$25 waged / $20 unwaged
$18 each for groups of 10+ plus booking fees
Two tickets for $30 SPECIAL on Friday  22 April
No shows Sunday or Monday


Theatre , Family , Children’s ,

A wealth of talent and energy

Review by Brian Smythe & Liz Elson 22nd Apr 2016

The Jukebox really came into its own with the advent of the 45rpm record in 1949. Because a jukebox could be loaded with 100-200 songs it became a popular choice at pubs, parties and dances for a night of seamless music with all your favourite artists. Later, MTV, the first video and stereo channel, brought us the visuals as well as the sound. 

Kira Josephson and Backyard Theatre have achieved just that:  two hours of rock and pop legends covering more than six decades, seamlessly stitched together with quotes from interviews and live performances. 

The show opens with the full cast giving us Foreigner’s ‘Jukebox Hero’. Then Michael Stebbings launches into Bill Hayley’s ‘Rock Around the Clock’ (the first-ever number 1 hit on the charts). From this 1950s icon, we are taken on a high-energy ride through the decades, from Hayley to the recent hit by Hozier: ‘Take me to Church’.

Highlights for us (yes, we are aware how subjective and controversial musical choices can be!) are a brave and challenging ‘Good Vibrations’ by the Beach Boys, Alex Rabina’s cloning of Mick Jagger in ‘Jumping Jack Flash’, Stevie Nick’s ‘Go Your Own Way’ (Ingrid Crispin), Paramore’s ‘That’s What you Get’ (Flora Lloyd), Alanis Morrisette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ (Harriet Dawson) and The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’ (Michael Stebbings).

Vocalists are backed by a band of very accomplished musicians: Bruno Shirley (piano/guitar), Steve ‘Shack’ Morrison (guitar), Bernie Stander (bass), Paul Gadd (drums), Michael Stebbings (tenor sax, piano) and Harriet Dawson (piano).

The whole is enhanced by well-balanced sound and imaginative lighting design.

There is a wealth of talent and energy in this show, and Kira Josephson should be congratulated for taking us on an exciting journey through the evolving landscape of popular music which gives the lie to the pundits who once dismissed rock as ‘a passing fad’. 

The final number is a great performance of what has consistently been voted the best rock anthem ever. If you don’t know what that is, go and see JUKEBOX HEROES: The Legends of Rock and Roll!  


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