Rock of Ages (German Tour Opening Night in Munich, 5th April 2023)

I had seen the musical Rock of Ages 73 times before this show – but show #74 made me kind of extra-nervous. Not only that I had the opportunity to be at the official opening show in Munich as a photographer. The musical is touring Germany and Austria until June 2023. I originally planned to do a review of the preview night the day before, but there was some communicative trouble. The 2023 tour is not only the largest German Rock of Ages production so far, but also the first time my favorite show is touring up and down my home country. Here are my impressions and thoughts.


Deutsches Theater – About The Venue

The Deutsches Theater (“German Theater”) hosts the first sixteen shows of the tour and is thus by far the most frequented venue of the German Rock of Ages tour 2023. The theater is very close to Munich Main Station (which also means that the surrounding streets are not Munich’s finest ones, public transport connects best to the Southern Main Station stop or Karlsplatz (Stachus). The Deutsches Theater is located in a courtyard a bit away from the main strreet. Built in 1896 originally, it underwent some renovations, so that it overall feels very modern.

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Rock of Ages Germany – The Cast

The only cast announcement I found when I prepared for this posting was in an Instagram video. Please excuse me if there are any issues with my list – hope I am able to correct it. I did not list the potential covers below. The musical is having English song lyrics, but the spoken words are in German. There are a few situations where this is not working out nicely, because the songs are too closely linked to the story.

Character Actor
Drew Bowley Felix Freund
Lonny Barnett Timothy Roller
Sherrie Christian Julia Taschler
Dennis Dupree Marc Chardon
Stacee Jaxx / Father (Vater) Sascha Lien
Justice Charlier / Mother (Mutter) Amanda Whitford
Hertz Kleinmann Benjamin Hauschild
Franz Kleinmann Jakob Wirnsperger
Regina Kotz / Candy Linda Holmgren
Major (Bürgermeister) / Ja’Keith Martijn Noort
Joey Primo Valerio Croce
Waitress No. 1 / Kellnerin Nr. 1 Lisa Becker
Constance Sack Kim Unger
Angel Destiny Lilian Nikolic
Angel Saphira Erika Del Re
Swing Kevin Lisske
Swing Olivier Scheers
Swing Annis Rallis
Swing Marina Petkov
Principal Swing Kevin Thiel

I was just allowed to take pictures of the epilogue of the show. There may be a later posting from another venue with some additional impressions.


Rock of Ages Germany – Red Carpet and Gallery

On the afternoon after I published this posting, I also gave you the Red Carpet impressions of the opening night in a Pictured Story. This post also contains the link to the 311 picture major size picture gallery:

Rock of Ages Opening Night – Red Carpet Impressions



Rock of Ages Germany – The Show

I won’t go too much into details of the story in here, but rather point out the differences to the Broadway show and the current UK Tour. The story line can be found in my posting about the pre-Covid UK tour. Due to timing issues, this section is majorly based on the preview show. The stage layout is similar, I was a bit confused that the bar of the Bourbon Room is on the right hand side and the Venus Club is on the left of the audience. The stage is more compact, but therefor has a nice upper balcony, which is frequently used by the actors. The overall story is not adopted apart from that Hertz and Franz are stated to be Swiss instead of German. The actors, Benjamin Hausschild and Jakob Wirnsperger do that transition very convincingly, though. Nonetheless, I feel that we Germans should simply be able to laugh about ourselves.

In general I struggle with the German translation of the script. I don’t really feel that the translator really liked the show, he just got the job done. I can neither blame the actors nor the productions for that, even though some German amateur theaters felt to be really creative in the past to get rid of the worst mistakes.


One Outstanding Actor

When I recently saw the Toronto show, I struggled that the did not try to interact with the audience and just made a play out of it. The Canadians liked it, but I felt that the musical had much more potential. The German show is by far not as interactive as the UK Tour. They also do not try to use some opportunities the original shows offer them. This is especially laming the first act significantly. However, Show Slot, the German producer, has one weapon against that.  On the very first night I saw him in that role, I already fell in love with Timothy Roller. He is doing an excellent Lonny and might be able to develop even further during the tour. He is the guy who is running the show. I also absolutely liked Sascha Lien as Stacee Jaxx, but he is also a very established musical actor in the German scene and played the show before.

While the dancing and choreo is fine, you feel a difference in singing quality compared to England. In general, I feel that German musical actors just don’t get that level of training you receive in and around London. The first act of the preview night had quite some sound issues on top of that. However, in the second act of the preview and during the opening night, the sound was significantly improved. Here and there, the pronunciation of English words felt weird.


I was not always happy…

I don’t agree to some arrangements on stage. For example, I feel you should not encourage the audience to clap to Cum On Feel the Noize as long as Stacee Jaxx is on the microphone. I appreciated that the German cast did Beaver Hunt live on stage and not as a recording. However, they obviously had really bad information about the song – even the amateur Musical Company Pinneberg near Hamburg did much better last year. The lyrics deviated completely from the intended ones. Pinneberg also did a better High Enough with both of their casts. The sound was not that harmonic as I feel it should be.

Hertz has a good time in the second act. Neither Regina nor Franz hits him at Hit Me With Your Best Shot (the song is quite obvious, ain’t it?). There are some other things like the lap dance at Heat of the Moment, which could have a clearer choreo. On the other hand, Roller and Marc Chandon, who is doing a nice Dennis, do an outstanding I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore – one of the best I have ever seen.


… But I am very critical

The review sounds very critical, doesn’t it? I would stand with that some of the covers of the UK Tour would still be esily beat their German colleagues, but there is one thing I just cannot deny: the people loved it. They partied the preview and they had a blast at the opening night. If the cast would encourage them more frequently to cheer and interact, the show would have blown off the roof of the Deutsches Theater. Nonetheless, especially at the preview, the people stood up really quick during Don’t Stop Believin’ and danced.

After the shows, I heard very often words like “We need to buy more tickets”. Yeah, you might have a better quality night for a cheaper price per ticket in the UK, but the people have a lot of fun. That is what counts finally, that’s the magic of Rock of Ages. It is not a deep plot musical. You go to the theater and leave with a smile some 2:30 hours later. That’s exactly what ShowSlot and the German Rock of Ages tour gave the people. The Munich show beat the Ulm production some years ago massively. 2023 is the year to feel the magic of this show if you live in Germany or Austria and don’t feel to go for the international tour dates.


Rock of Ages – the German / Austrian Tour

Here is a full overview of the shows by the German tour, which is finally also hitting Linz and Vienna in Austria. If you want to head to Rock of Ages shows in general, you may also have a look to my 2023 International Rock of Ages shows overview.

Tu 04.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater Preview
We 05.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater Opening Night
Th 06.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater
Sa 08.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater (15:00 & 19:30)
Su 09.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater (14:30 & 19:00)
Mo 10.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater
Tu 11.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater
We 12.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater
Th 13.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater
Fr 14.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater
Sa 15.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater (15:00 & 19:30)
So 16.04.2023 Munich – Deutsches Theater (14:30 & 19:00)
Th 20.04.2023 Bremen – Metropol Theater Bremen
Fr 21.04.2023 Bremen – Metropol Theater Bremen
Sa 22.04.2023 Bremen – Metropol Theater Bremen (14:30 & 19:30)
Su 23.04.2023 Bremen – Metropol Theater Bremen (14:30)
Mo 24.04.2023 Berlin – Admiralspalast
Tu 25.04.2023 Berlin – Admiralspalast
We 26.04.2023 Berlin – Admiralspalast
Th 27.04.2023 Berlin – Admiralspalast
We 03.05.2023 Nuremberg – Meistersingerhalle
Th 04.05.2023 Nuremberg – Meistersingerhalle
Mo 08.05.2023 Bochum – RuhrCongress
Tu 09.05.2023 Bochum – RuhrCongress
Su 14.05.2023 Cologne (Deutz) – Theater am Tanzbrunnen
Mo 15.05.2023 Cologne (Deutz) – Theater am Tanzbrunnen
Tu 16.05.2023 Cologne (Deutz) – Theater am Tanzbrunnen
We 17.05.2023 Cologne (Deutz) – Theater am Tanzbrunnen
Th 18.05.2023 Cologne (Deutz) – Theater am Tanzbrunnen
Fr 19.05.2023 Offenburg – Oberrheinhalle
Sa 20.05.2023 Offenburg – Oberrheinhalle
Th 25.05.2023 Mannheim – Rosengarten
Fr 26.05.2023 Mannheim – Rosengarten
Sa 27.05.2023 Mannheim – Rosengarten (14:30 & 19:30)
Mo 29.05.2023 Stuttgart – Liederhalle Hegelsaal
Tu 30.05.2023 Stuttgart – Liederhalle Hegelsaal
We 31.05.2023 Stuttgart – Liederhalle Hegelsaal
Fr 02.06.2023 Dusseldorf – Capitol Theater
Sa 03.06.2023 Dusseldorf – Capitol Theater (14:30 & 19:30)
Su 04.06.2023 Dusseldorf – Capitol Theater (14:30)
Th 08.06.2023 Solingen – Theater und Konzerthaus
Fr 09.06.2023 Solingen – Theater und Konzerthaus
Th 15.06.2023 Frankfurt – myticket Jahrhunderthalle
Fr 16.06.2023 Frankfurt – myticket Jahrhunderthalle
Sa 17.06.2023 Frankfurt – myticket Jahrhunderthalle (14:30 & 19:30)
Su 18.06.2023 Frankfurt – myticket Jahrhunderthalle (14:30)
Tu 20.06.2023 Linz (Austria) – TipsArena
We 21.06.2023 Linz – TipsArena
Th 22.06.2023 Linz – TipsArena
Tu 27.06.2023 Vienna – Wiener Stadthalle
We 28.06.2023 Vienna – Wiener Stadthalle
Th 29.06.2023 Vienna – Wiener Stadthalle
Fr 30.06.2023 Vienna – Wiener Stadthalle


Rock of Ages (Musical)

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