After there was some confusion about my coverage of the German debut of the Rock of Ages musical in Munich, I was really flattered to cover another tour stop of their German stages at 9th June 2023. Rock of Ages hit Solingen, a city Northeast of Cologne, for two nights. After I had visited the first show as an “ordinary” spectator, here is my review of their second show, on 9th June 2023, in the Theater und Konzerthaus (“Theater and Concert House”)
Theater und Konzerthaus Solingen – About The Venue
The Theater und Konzerthaus Solingen is located North of the shopping district of Central Solingen, next to the Rathaus (Town Hall). Thus, the closest public transport stop is the bus station Solingen Rathaus, which is covered by several bus (690, 692, 693, 695) and night bus lines. Note that if you want to go to the venue by train, the next stop is Solingen Bahnhof Mitte (“Central Station”). Solingen Hauptbahnhof (“Main Station”) is located far more West in the borough of Ohligs. There is quite some parking around the venue as well.
Rock of Ages Solingen – The Show / My Thoughts
Especially during the two shows I saw in Cologne in May 2023, I have been so impressed how much the whole show has improved compared to the Munich opening shows. They have solved all the technical issues, but also worked around some of the weirdest issues in the German translation of the script. And – last but not least – the cast and the show itself felt to be much much better. The first show in Solingen on 8th June 2023 (which I attended as a visitor) suffered some technical / sound issues – but this Friday night was an absolute blast and the highlight of my seven visits to the German shows so far (show #8 to follow in Frankfurt).
My Thoughts on the Show (and the Tour 2023)
Rock of Ages is easy. It does give you a thoughtful story, you get a die-hard jukebox musical with songs you likely all know. You are allowed to rock, cheer, enjoy what is going on on stage. Rock of Ages is not a stiff show for which you dress up in your formal wear and have some champagne in the intermission. The German 2023 show went that route and more and more improved their play over time. Not just in that Solingen show, two characters feel outstanding to me. On the one hand, there is Timothy Roller aka Lonny Barnett. The charismatic, “sound god” and narrator of the show plays the key role to a successful RoA show – he is not only telling the story, but also interacting with the crowd. Timothy adopted that in an amazing way from the beginning. In Solingen, he also proofed to be flexible enough to adopt to situations – for example, when he stated that I can hardly see the audience (as the Solingen theater features an incredibly large orchestra pit.
Another key character of this show is Julia Taschler, playing the main female character of Sherrie Christian. I saw so many great actors in this role, just naming Jodie Steele, Rhiannon Chesterman or Gabriella Williams, but I simply love the cute way she is interpreting the role. In a lovely way, she is that a bit of naive, but self-confident girl from Paola, Kansas (even though the German show is never stating that city explicitly). On the minor role side, I loved Benjamin Hausschild (Hertz Kleinmann) and Lisa Becker (Waitress No. 1 / Kellnerin Nr. 1). However, the cast felt very harmonic and balanced.
The Solingen Crowd had a lot of fun
Including the intermission, the Solingen crowd had a two and a half hour fun time. Most of the people I listened to really loved it – and so did I. A special thanks to the tour management and ShowSlot, who allowed me to cover the whole show. Even though it was quite a long period of photography, it was a lot of fun doing that – especially as I simply know what the actors will do next and thus can balance the photographic work on that.
Rock of Ages Solingen – My Thoughts for 2024
Well, there is no confirmation yet… But there is a professional production in Zurich in June 2024 just doing one week of shows… So… Maybe… Rock of Ages might be coming back in 2024. Even though I really enjoyed the 2023 tour, some thoughts to go another step forward next year:
- The first thing is of course Don’t stop believin’. Rock of Ages is not Dirty Dancing, where people buy masses of tickets just because they love(d) the movie. Establishing Rock of Ages in Germany is a step by step work. Yeah, Solingen has not been sold out – and other shows have not been either. But these guys did a great first step. Second one (hopefully) to follow soon.
- Know your customers. The two weeks mostly-almost-sold-out-shows in Munich showed that Rock of Ages has a massive potential. The producing company ShowSlot did great in social media. I feel since January 2023, there was hardly any day where I did not receive an ad on Facebook or Instagram that Rock of Ages will be on stage. I am not sure whether they always targeted the right people.
- Use the community. Even though Rock of Ages Germany has been so active on social media, they did not make use of the European RoAdie community. This will be much easier in 2024 – I can hardly imagine that there will again be a U.K. tour or shows at the West End in parallel. I liked what the British producer DLAP did for some while, giving away early bird tickets to frequent visitors – which ensures that there are some people in the first row who can help driving the audience.
- Dare to party. I don’t feel that there has ever been a that interactive musical show in Germany (maybe Rocky Horror Picture Show…). That’s one of the key characteristics of Rock of Ages. Maybe it is worth thinking about adding a few of the ideas the U.K. tour developed over time.
- Come back, please… Because otherwise, this paragraph will be worthless 🙂 And somehow, I dream of having my 100th Rock of Ages show in my home town Cologne next year.
Rock of Ages Solingen – The Gallery
Here are 662 major size pictures of the show. They are located in the concert gallery:
Rock of Ages Solingen – The Cast
Here is the cast which was on stage on 9th June 2023 in Solingen: Swings are given in bold.
|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||Martijn Noort|
|Regina Kotz / Candy||Marina Petkov|
|Major (Bürgermeister) / Ja’Keith||Olivier Scheers|
|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|
The musical staff of the show has been
- Pascal Kierdorf (musical director)
- Patrick Sühl, Tom Grimm (guitars)
- Marco Saller (bass)
- Miguel Curi (drums)
Rock of Ages Germany – My Coverage so Far
I visited the very first shows of the 2023 Rock of Ages German shows in Munich. The opening night has been covered in two posts, the show itself and some red carpet impressions:
Rock of Ages – the German / Austrian Tour 2023
Here is a full overview of the remaining 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.
|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)
Here are all postings related to the musical Rock of Ages:
Solingen at Flyctory.com
Here are all Flyctory.com postings related to Solingen: