The Gym, The Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch

09/03/2016 - 19/03/2016

Production Details

Magnitude Productions brings this award winning musical to the NZ stage, for the first time. And this is not your ordinary musical. Forget showgirls and jazz hands, Rock of Ages is a hilarious, edgy, fun-to-the-max theatre experience that promises one hell of a night out, and features an energetic cast of performers.

Set in the late 80s on LA’s Sunset Strip, and with a loud, head-banging soundtrack including Whitesnake, Journey, Pat Benatar and Poison, Rock of Ages will melt your face and bring out your inner rock god! 

Please note, it is not suitable for the kids so give yourself a great excuse to leave them at home! What’s not to like?! 

At the GYM in the Arts Centre, Christchurch 
March 9th till March 19th

Lonny – Kyle Cheun 
Drew – Chris Mcrae
Sherrie – Elly Bucher
Stacee Jaxx – Aaron Boyce
Dennis – John Bayne
Justice – Kate Taylor
Regina – Jane Leonard
Hertz – Peter Hewson
Franz – Brett McPhail 

Izzy Tocker
Briar Patrick
Layna Hunt
Annie Manning
Jeremy Smith
Josh Johnson

Keys and Sax – Andy Manning
Lead Guitar – Tim Heeringa
Rhythm Guitar – Jacob Reuben
Bass Guitar – Talon Adams
Drums – Jeff Bucher

Sound Design – Joe Veale
Sound Operation – Tom Robertson
Lighting Design – Jake Eastwood
Lighting Operation – Peter Bucher
Costumes, Props, Admin – Elly Bucher
Set Design, Marketing, Production Manager – Peter Bucher
Executive Producer – Jeff Bucher
FOH – Geoff and Fleur Tocker, Clare Bucher
Bar and Catering – Mikey Bucher, Derrick Marquis, Kelsea Bierk
Stage Manager – Cody Mcrae  

Theatre , Musical ,

More than enough to enthuse the rocker in all of us

Review by Lindsay Clark 10th Mar 2016

The Bucher family, whose enterprise and enthusiasm for musical theatre brought the first local production of the gritty show Rent to Christchurch nine ago, have landed another dazzler – and in a venue that is becoming increasingly recognised as a place where live performance thrives.  

The unadorned set up, with assorted seating and a stage of scaffolded platforms, is already sparking before the show starts, thanks to the band getting a head start on the beat, and the cheery informality of front-of-house and bar crew.

“Prepare to have your face melted,” warns the director’s programme note. The heat is mutually generated as the audience laps up a fabulously energetic and colourful cast, inciting them to pump more and more into music and dance. It feels like one big party, with spectacular dress-ups and wall-to-wall pulsing rock.

We are back in eighties L.A, the Sunset Strip and The Bourbon Room in particular. Our elaborately sexy narrator (Kyle Chuen as Lonny) sets the upbeat tone of the storyline, where overstatement and comedy are cheerfully exploited to great effect.

But in the beginning, appropriately, are the dreams. The boy is working as a cleaner while he finds the nerve and music to power him into the rock world; the girl arrives from her small town with only her dreams and a suitcase. Inevitably they meet, go through the turmoil of love undeclared, seemingly betrayed and revived – material for a satisfying range of music.

Chris McRae as Drew covers the territory in great style, matched by a glowing Elly Bucher as Sherrie, whose learning-curve includes work at a girlie outfit, run by melodious and worldly-wise Justice (Kate Taylor). Together the young couple keep the heart of the show pumping along.

Groovy goings on at The Bourbon Room, where Drew is on the end of a broom, are threatened by a determined and powerful developer Hertz (Peter Hewson) and his reluctant son Franz (Brett McPhail). Boss man Dennis (John Bane), epitome of rock entrepreneurship, brings on to the scene the ultimate rocker, Stacee Jaxx, delivered in glorious technicolour by Aaron Boyce, but the takeover threat escalates anyway, in spite of vigorous protests. Eventually Herz has a heart (his son decamps to follow his own dream to be a confectioner) and everyone is happy, including a very enthusiastic audience. 

The band, led by Andy Manning on keyboard, otherwise identified only by first names in keeping with the informality of the night, is given special recognition. Jacob, Tim and Talen on guitars and Jeff on drums are the indefatigable backbone of an exuberant show.  

The contributions of choreographer Jane Leonard, lighting designer Jake Eastwood from Lightsite and costume designer Elly Bucher are hugely successful in sustaining the impact of a highly committed and talented cast – including, of course, a spirited ensemble who step into the supporting roles. There’s more than enough here to enthuse the rocker in all of us. 


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