Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Theater vs. Film

Rock of Ages

So this Monday I was taken into London for a surprise Belated Birthday present. I was already sure it was the Theater just not 100% sure which show! As you can tell by the above title it was indeed Rock of Ages In Garrick Theater, Leicester Square.

I absolutely loved the film, starring actors such as Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alex Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jullianne Hough and Diego Boneta. Quite the cast eh! The production is a Musical and I loved it. I am not a fan of a full on musical though, like Les Mis as I can't stand that every single word is sung, every single conversation, its just. So. Annoying. Obviously me saying this will infuriate many as it is an amazing story - but its just not for me. However, I love things like this, such as 'Glee', which I just discovered was also directed by Adam Shankman, he seems to be quite the camp man, love it! The songs as well are massively known Rock song legends so you can chime in and sing along... I didn't but you can in the warmth of your own home! 
Now, the film follows Sherrie (Jullianne) who moves to LA to pursue a singing career and leaves her supporting nan back in her small town world. She meets Drew after being mugged and losing her pride possessions; Music records. She bags herself a job with Drew at Dennis Dupree's (Baldwin) 'The Bourbon Room' where all the big music was played. The pair quickly become an item until The Bourbon Room can't meet taxes and the new Mayors wife, Patricia (Jones) Is on a mission to get the strip closed down, and it is a rock showdown. Stacey Jaxx (Cruise) Was the lead singer of 'Arsenal' a huge bang, but they are breaking up and he is going solo. In a plot to save the club, Dennis arranges for Stacey to perform his first solo gig there, however his Manager does his over and steals all the profits. Not only this but Drew gets the wrong impression and thinks Sherrie and Stacey were at it, but they actually weren't. 
The story continues with Drew getting a contract with a useless manager who makes the rock star wannabe into part of a pop boy band. Sherrie finds herself working in a Gentle mans club, dancing. In the end they find love together, save the club and even Stacey Jaxx falls for a 'Rolling Stones' reporter. The couple are happy just being together, though Drew does get his song he wrote for Sherrie sung by Stacey, so we can see it ould be the start of something big.

Theatre Production
The show was done slightly differently. The story had Sherrie, a confident actress finding herself mugged in the street but losing nothing important as she stores it all in her 'panties'. She left behind very unsupportive parents. Drew (who I believe we saw the understudy - even though he was A-mazing, Tim Driesen) helps her and they immediately like each other, but no one makes a move so they become... Friends. Lonny (played by Simon Lipkin), Dennis' right hand man narrates the story and adds a lot of comedy to it, he does this extremely well too. A German investor and his son propose to the Mayor about revamping the strip into a new supermall. The mayors assistant, Regina, protests this the whole way as the rock loving hippy believed 'We built this city on rock and roll' (you can guess what came next!). The Germans son had an eye for Regina and she sways his into breaking free of his father. 
The fight continues rather raunchily and with an similar ending, the couple find love and have a baby. However Stacey Jaxx is on the run from the Police as he is portrayed as quite the dirt bag in this version. The Bourbon Room and ultimately- Rock won the battle. 

The two were actually very different. The character more or less the same, but the style of them weren't. Stacey for instance was the idolised rock star 'Girls wanted to be with him and guys wanted to be him', but the two versions portrayed him very differently. Cruise plays a mellow, laid back... Weirdo? Very ancient in his movements, having sex because its being thrown at him. Whereas Tim Howar plays him as obnoxious and perverted, tricking Sherrie into her coming onto him, which leads to them having full on sex in the toilet and this coming between herself and Drew. I prefer Howars wilder version.
Sherrie is quite shy and earnest in the film but confident and quite slutty in the production. Now I like the films portrayal of Sherrie more, but I did like the comedic values behind the character and her hidden slutty ways, just didn't think the acting was top notch, to the point I was convinced she was the understudy not Drew. She has some voice though!
Drews character was the virtually the same, not very confident but holds a lot talent. 

My favourite character was of course Lonny, not Brands version though, he is funny but Lipkin played it better. He bound the production together, threw in the comedy and got the audience involved. The awkward silences only made it funnier.

All in my honest opinion, without a doubt, the Theater production done it so much better. The singing was superb and you know it was real whereas with films with such stars in them, you wonder how much of a role auto-tune played! The dancer ensemble were fantastic, I can only dream of moving like them! And the acting was as it should be, enough that it's still just a show for us and our responses. Not bad for a Monday nights show too! Well I'd hope they thought so too. I can't help but admit how much I loved the kinkyness in the production... I thought a 12 rating was fairly low for the film but this would never ever pass as 12, and I loved it. haha.

Film i give a solid 6.4/10
The theater production, well and truly earned its 5 star review.
Its not my usual way but yup 5 stars all the way!

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