Rock of Ages - Score: 9
From: Time Out New York By: David Cote Publication Date: 04/16/2009
In the ’80s, let’s say you never grew a mullet, squeezed into acid-washed jeans or threw the horns at a Quiet Riot concert. Doesn’t mean that the pop hits of the period didn’t fuse with your hormones and secure an unassailable seat in your pleasure center. That sweet spot is exactly what the insanely fun mixtape musical Rock of Ages relentlessly tickles, with its familiar heavy-metal ballads married to an impish, self-mocking book. Think it’s just a cheap retro goof? Rock of Ages shatters irony with a killer drum solo, then melts the wreckage with a smoking guitar riff.
Big-Hair Rockers Return in a New Arena: Broadway - Score: 8
From: New York Times By: Charles Isherwood Publication Date: 04/08/2009
The volcanic locks and endless guitar solos are tethered to a thin plot concocted from showbiz clichés spruced up in skin-hugging leather and acid-washed denim. But so what if the story is stale as the air in a dive bar at 6 a.m.? Mr. D’Arienzo, Ms. Hanggi and their ace designers (costumes by Gregory Gale, hair and wigs by Tom Watson and sets by Beowulf Boritt) mockingly evoke the sights, sounds and smells of the era with an affection so pure and an aesthetic so archly on-target that the familiar is freshened by a festive parade of gumdrop-colored lingerie and pungent grunge. When somebody pulls out a four-pack of Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers, the audience roars as if at a punch line of supreme perceptiveness.
Rock of Ages - Score: 8
From: NY1 By: Roma Torre Publication Date: 04/07/2009
This jukebox musical featuring vintage rock tunes from the likes of Twisted Sister and Bon Jovi is sure to turn off some theater purists. But it's so cleverly staged and impressively performed that it's an irresistible, offbeat trip of a show that hits all the right notes.
'Rock of Ages' delivers '80s sprinkled with cheese - Score: 8
From: New York Daily News By: Joe Dziemianowicz Publication Date: 04/08/2009
The unapologetically silly show opened Tuesday night at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, slightly revised from its fall Off-Broadway run but with the same don't-take-it-serious, winking attitude that made it so easy to like.
Rock of Ages - Score: 7
From: Variety By: David Rooney Publication Date: 04/07/2009
Director Kristin Hanggi knows better than to loiter long between songs, and while it's overstretched for a show that waves its lack of substance like a banner, Rock of Ages keeps moving. Choreographer Kelly Devine gleefully apes the worst excesses of the era's pole-dancing, crotch-grinding, big-hair-tossing moves; costumer Gregory Gale re-creates the wardrobe crimes with flair; hair guru Tom Watson has worked overtime with the curling wand; and Jason Lyons' aggressive lighting cranks up the heat.
Rock of Ages - Score: 7
From: The Hollywood Reporter By: Frank Scheck Publication Date: 04/07/2009
Forget the silly plot, which has to do with a rock club threatened with being turned into a strip mall by a greedy German real estate developer (Paul Schoeffler). There's also a romantic triangle between a sexy waitress/struggling actress (Amy Spangler), a sweet busboy/struggling musician (Constantine Maroulis, of "American Idol" fame) and a debauched glam rock star (James Carpinello). Instead, just wait for the less than subtle cues for such instantly recognizable songs as "I Want to Know What Love Is," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," "Here I Go Again," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and others, performed at deafening volume by the hard rocking, five-piece onstage band.
Rock of Ages - Score: 7
From: nytheatre.com By: David Gordon Publication Date: 04/14/2009
What Rock of Ages proves is that Damn Yankees' "High Enough" and REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight this Feeling" can sizzle with chemistry (yeah, chemistry!) just as much as "I'll Know." Chris D'Arienzo has crafted an old-fashioned musical with '80s music. While the script never even comes close to reaching the heights of Guys and Dolls or Gypsy, as far as jukebox musicals go, it has more heart and wit and is far more genuine than its jukebox predecessors, Lennon and Good Vibrations.
Rock of Ages - Score: 7
From: Entertainment Weekly By: Thom Geier Publication Date: 04/07/2009
For Gen Xers on a nostalgia trip, though, this Off Broadway transfer does provide its Memorex-induced pleasures — often embedded Beowulf Boritt's clever set and prop design (at one point, a character gives birth to a Cabbage Patch Kid). Is Rock of Ages nothin' but a good time? Not quite. (Sorry, Poison fans.) But it's frequently more fun than it has any right to be.
http://www.broadwayworld.com/blogs/viewblog.cfm?blogid=2434 - Score: 7
From: BroadwayWorld.com By: Michael Dale Publication Date: 04/25/2009
I enjoyed quite a lot of Rock of Ages; even though the songs don't carry the same nostalgic appeal for me as it does for its target audience. (Though I will admit a quick mention of Reunite on ice did bring back memories.) Sure, it would have been better off as a ninety-minute intermissionless show, as the production really starts losing steam early in Act II (Hint: When an author suddenly starts going Pirandello in the second half it usually means he's run out of ideas.), but much of it is good, stupid, noisy fun that doesn't take itself as anything more than good, stupid, noisy fun.
Kicking a Man When He's Gone (scroll down for Rock of Ages) - Score: 6
From: Wall Street Jounal By: Terry Teachout Publication Date: 04/10/2009
"Rock of Ages" is a moderately amusing jukebox musical whose ear-shredding score consists of a compilation of the greater and lesser hits of such noted arena rockers of the '80s as Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Journey, Styx and Twisted Sister, all of which I loathed when I first heard them on the radio a quarter-century ago. It would be the grossest of understatements to say that I expected nothing out of "Rock of Ages," so I'm pleased -- sort of -- to report that it could have been a whole lot worse.
HIT PARADE'S NOT ROCK-SOLID - Score: 6
From: New York Post By: Elisabeth Vincentelli Publication Date: 04/08/2009
"Rock of Ages" is what it is: a jukebox musical stringing together songs so familiar, the program lists them in small print between the hosiery credits and the union logos. If you can't identify the first seconds of "Sister Christian," you shouldn't be at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to begin with. It's not as if the material's been Broadway-ified, either. Backed by an onstage band, the cast rocks out over arrangements that remain pretty close to the originals. And guess what? Familiarity does breed content. Especially if you're the kind of person who gets misty hearing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."
Rock of Ages - Score: 5
From: Back Stage By: David Sheward Publication Date: 04/07/2009
Chris D'Arienzo's book is a theatrical Mad Libs game, with various '80s hits filling in the blanks of the miniscule plot: German developers scheme to tear down the strip's drugs-sex-and-rock district, as wannabe rock god Drew and actor-barmaid Sherry meet cute, split up, and reunite. That's about it. As directed with manic energy by Kristin Hanggi and played with an obvious wink to the audience by the hard-working cast, the show doesn't take itself seriously for one second. But the humor level is so low and the characters so broad that interest in the story is lost after the first 20 minutes. If the creative team had dispensed with the script and just let the ensemble and kick-ass onstage band tear through the hits of the era, Rock of Ages would have really rocked.
Girls, Girls, Girls - Score: 3
From: New York By: Stephanie Zacharek Publication Date: 04/08/2009
Rock of Ages, which was written by Chris D'Arienzo and directed by Kristin Hanggi, and which played Off Broadway last year, is too full of self-conscious winks, nudges, and wine-cooler jokes to be much fun. There's energy onstage, all right, but it's unfocused and muddled. The dancers—the show's choreography is by Kelly Devine—wriggle about in epaulette-shouldered leather jackets and neon animal-print Spandex, trying to conjure the big-haired ghosts of a lost era. They only end up looking cheap and desperate. This is no way to get your rocks off.
'Rock of Ages' makes it hard to hold on to the feeling - Score: 3
From: USA Today By: Elysa Gardner Publication Date: 04/07/2009
Inexplicably, Rock of Ages plods on for 2½ hours, with one intermission. You're better off buying an '80s hits collection — or, to borrow a line from Journey, taking a midnight train going anywhere.
Bon Jovi, Styx Hits Bring Noise to Broadway ‘Rock’ - Score: 2
From: Bloomberg News By: John Simon Publication Date: 04/09/2009
“Rock of Ages” is innovative even for the most experienced critics: For the first time, we are asked to review Noise. Not pure noise, to be sure, but noise encroached on by a smattering of unmusical music, stultifying lyrics, banal dialogue and a story that carries triviality to new heights, or lows. It is impure noise, against which the best earplugs offer only partial relief.