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Cast performing

Review: Rock of Ages: High school edition

On March 2nd, Nutley High School traveled back 40 years with the  debut of its spring musical Rock of Ages: High School Edition. Although this production consisted of teenagers, individuals who had not been part of the rock experience of the 1980s, I am happy to say that I, a teenager, “wanted to rock” more than I ever had before. With classics such as Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and Guns n’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” people of all ages were singing and dancing.


This three-day experience was full of energy and laughter as the performance not only accomplished the difficulties of singing rock but also seized the comedic “mockery” of the rock decade. Through characters such as Lonny Barnett (played by senior Nicky Duca), Nutley’s Rock of Ages perfected the art of, what is called, “breaking the fourth wall,” fully grasping the audience’s attention in a very comedic manner. The acting was truly groundbreaking with spot on expressions of innocence, desire, and despair revealing great character development on a plot that brings about only a basis to what the actors can do. Each individual took advantage of this opportunity, utilizing accents and “subtle” mannerisms while really taking the time to access the characters motives and “inner turmoil.” 


The musical, although encompassing the rock era, entailed choreography perfected by past student Rebecca Vigna. One would think that Rock of Ages would not focus too heavily on choreography, however, the performance proved otherwise as the actors and ensemble rocked it out with a variety of unexpected movements that enhanced the eighties experience for every audience member.


It’s important to note the immense amount of work the stage crew brought to the show. The sound was fantastic as rock music blasted throughout the theater. The lights proved to be a huge factor to the show as each scene shifted from dark purples and blues to electric reds and yellows. I was personally amazed with how quickly the show came together due to the restricting time period the cast and crew had to create such an amazing experience. Every single individual deserves a great deal of credit for such a stunning performance (the directors, the crew members, the set builders, the performers, the makeup artists, the janitors, and so many more). It’s incredible what a diverse community can do.