Friday Mack Attack 3/27/09

This week I'm macking on: Rock of Ages, the Off-Broadway to Broadway musical opening April 7 at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Rock of Ages stars American Idol reject Constantine Maroulis, is directed by Kristin Hanggi, the woman responsible for The Pussycat Dolls Live at the Roxy, and features some of the worst couples-skate-ready, parachute-pants-wearing, flaming-kamikaze-drinking music to come out of the '80s. The cheese is so pungent in this jukebox musical (which somehow doesn't include Foreigner's "Jukebox Hero," but makes amends with the inclusion of their "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "I Want to Know What Love Is") you can probably smell it all the way down the block--that is, if it hasn't been set aflame by all the commingled hair mousse and Aqua Net fumes.

But that's not why I'm macking on it. In fact, I still have some lingering PTSD from that whole era. Once upon a time, I begged a friend to see The Cure with me and she agreed on the condition that I attend a Motley Crue/Whitesnake concert with her. Suffice it to say it wasn't exactly a fair trade, since Ticketmaster never mentioned that my innocence was included in the ticket price.

Anyway, where I'm going with this is that it's not so much Rock of Ages' retro content that rocks my world, or that it was choreographed by Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson choreographer Kelly Devine, or even that before the curtain rose on a single Broadway preview--nay, while it was still in its Off-Broadway infancy--RoA was picked up by New Line Cinema for a film adaptation. No, I'm macking on the way whomever runs the @RockofAges Twitter handle just plain gets how to do it. Sure, they throw in the occasional promotional plug, but it's hidden among trivia ("Who sang, 'she goes down slow like a shot of gin/she's got an angel's face and a devil's grin?'" If you know the answer withut clicking, this is definitely the show for you), related links (SNL's Bon Jovi opposite tribute band), metalhead news ("Guns N' Roses is proud to announce that DJ Ashba has joined the band for an upcoming tour"), contests, and daily interaction with their thousand or so followers. On the show's website there's even an integrated Rock of Ages Twitter feed featuring fan tweets alongside the official ones. They've nailed the right tone, and are carefully, gently cultivating their audience. Every theater company that limits their public internet engagement to posting monthly two-for-one ticket offers and opening-week links to reviews (not that there's anything wrong with that) should start re-evaluating their approach, like, yesterday.  

This week I'm hating on: blizzards. I was going to go see some theater around Denver Wednesday and Thursday nights, but am instead stuck a mile above the mile high city, with an icy mountain pass between myself and that big city's bright lights. Apparently, due to the whiteout, even Curious Theatre Company cancelled tonight's performance of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, so you know I'm not just slacking. I'll be back in August though, and barring any late-summer snowstorms (Not even kidding; it's cold up here!) promise to make up for the miss.

And hey, happy World Theatre Day. Tell everyone you know that in the spirit of international cooperation, it's their duty to go see a play or two tonight. You, of course, already knew that, and if you did anything special to commemorate the event, let's hear about it.  

March 26, 2009 11:30 PM | | Comments (5)

5 Comments

LOVE LOVE LOVE any mention of my main man - CONSTANTINE! Go see ROA - it is an awesome experience. I have seen it and will continue to see it until it closes! You MUST put this show on your list of spring NY trip experiences!! Love you, Constantine!! Also - shout out to my main girl Jamie Ross of VH1 Rock of Love Bus! You look FANTASTIC girl!!!

I absolutely love Rock of Ages. I saw it 3 times when it was playing Off-Broadway and plan to fly to NYC in April to see it on Broadway. It's so much fun!! Once you see it, you keep wanting to see it just one more time and then just one more time after that! It's like a drug, it's adictive as all get out! The singers are awesome! Their acting is Awesome! Love it!!

You're welcome. More cowbell is totally a sentiment I can get behind, and if I can also get past the idea that Ted Nugent's gonna see any royalties from the inclusion of that awful Damn Yankees song maybe I'll see you at the Atkinson, lighter aflame.

Wendy,

As one of the people behind the Rock of Ages Twitter account (there are actually several, including - frequently - actual cast members), and the guy who literally added the Twitter feed to the website, I want to thank you for your really awesome comments on the whole thing.

The Rock of Ages team truly believes in using Twitter not as a spammy marketing tool, but as a way to engage fans, and contribute to the online discussion of what you call the "pungently cheesy" source material. We love it ourselves, so it's easy to get excited talking about ponytails and AquaNet, and people have really responded to what they sense as authenticity behind it. We're not shouting "buy tickets, buy tickets" like most commercial Twitter accounts. We're shouting "More Cowbell!" more or less. (OK, so Don't Fear The Reaper came out in the 70s...)

It's great to run across someone who appreciates the effort we've put into using these social media tools effectively, and we agree 100% with your statement that "every theater company that limits their public internet engagement to posting monthly two-for-one ticket offers and opening-week links to reviews...should start re-evaluating their approach, like, yesterday."

And hey, Happy World Theatre Day to you, too. Rock on.

Aren't you just a ray of sunshine? LOL
Apparently lots of people think otherwise about Rock Of Ages. 98.8% theater capacity first week of previews tells me lots of folks are enjoying the good time - cheesy as it is. In fact, cheesy is just what they were aiming for, so they have succeeded. This show is Nothing But A Good Time !!!

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