Skip to content

Rock of Ages musical fueled by ‘80s glam rock vibe

Cathy Dobson Theatre Sarnia`s first show of the new season is an ambitious musical featuring hit after hit from the ‘80s.
From left, Brian Soulard, Christian Dempsey, Olivia Gogas, and Cian Poore star in Rock of Ages, opening Oct. 21 at the Imperial Theatre. Photo courtesy, Robert Walicki

Cathy Dobson

Theatre Sarnia`s first show of the new season is an ambitious musical featuring hit after hit from the ‘80s.

Rock of Ages was a successful Broadway show, closing in 2015 after six years, and recently released for use by community theatre groups.

It’s a ton of fun from start to finish with tunes made famous by Styx, Pat Benatar, Europe and Poison, says director Karoline Lobsinger. It was inspired by the era of glam metal bands with all the outrageous costumes and big hair.

“You hear the first three notes and you get excited.”

Lobsinger is a longtime drama teacher at St. Patrick’s High School who has been involved with Theatre Sarnia since she was 16.

“I was a young teen in the 1980s so the Rock of Ages vibe really resonates,” she said. “It transports you back to that time with all its iconic music.”

The Sarnia production has a cast of 28 including nine lead actors, many of them wearing wigs provided by Sarnia’s Betty Dee. A five-piece band is on the stage under the guidance of musical directors Dave and Denise Chaulk.

Songs like Final Countdown, Here I Go Again and Don’t Stop Believing are performed in the context of a love story between a small town girl named Sherrie and city boy named Drew.

Their story is told through the lyrics of songs by Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi and more.

“There’s 30 scenes and probably 30 different songs,” said Lobsinger.

She and the Chaulks went to Vegas in the spring to experience Rock of Ages, which has a long-term engagement there.

“We got really excited about it,” she said. “We knew Rock of Ages is not your typical theatre genre and would attract some new faces.

“More than anything, it’s a really good time. The songs are so iconic that they are still heard on the radio and younger people will recognize them.”

That being said, there is adult content and the show is not recommended for anyone under 16.


WHAT: Theatre Sarnia’s Rock of Ages

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 – 23 and 26-29. Plus 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 23.

WHERE: Imperial Theatre

TICKETS: or 519-344-SHOW (7469)

Join the Community: Receive Our Daily News Email for Free