While the movie adaptation of Chris D' Arienzo's smash Broadway musical "Rock of Ages" is tanking at the box office, Atlantis Productions' ("In the Heights," Disney's "The Little Mermaid") local staging, which stars MiG Ayesa as Stacee Jaxx (a role he also played on Broadway) and Vina Morales as Sherrie (her professional theater debut), sells out!
Below are review excerpts that the production has recently garnered:
Beatriz Acosta, ClicktheCity.com: It was a delight to see Vina Morales as Sherrie, all wide-eyed and in amazement as she drinks in all of the Hollywood sparkle. Her powerful voice was a good match with Nyoy Volante, who plays Drew…he's transformed himself from Acoustic King to Eighties Rockstar, but manages to be childlike and adorably awkward at moments.
Aside from dancing and singing with the cast as they perform the songs live, there are other things you won't experience in the film version that you can with the live musical. The city planner Regina and the Klinemann father and son, for instance. It was a hoot to watch Calvin Millado and Bibo Reyes bustle about onstage with their caricature German accents. Regina, played by Aiza Seguerra, was bursting with so much energy as the boho-activist with a little secret up her sleeve (or stiletto, perhaps?). And all those cutesy aww-shucks scenes of Regina and Franz Klinemann sometimes made me even root for them more than the lead pair.
Vladimir Bunoan, Abs-CbnNews.com: The play not only has a more extensive '80s soundtrack -- where's "The Search is Over" and "Oh, Sherrie"? [in the movie] -- but features more of the "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll" lifestyle of the era.
The movie, on the other hand, appears like a well-scrubbed version of the play -- and even has a happier ending.
Fred Hawson, Rappler.com: For the Filipino cast, the singing talent is undoubtedly there as always.
I never knew that Nyoy Volante (as Drew) can scream out those big rock anthems! Unfortunately, he does not really fit the Drew character physically, and his wig does not help.
Vina Morales was really sexy as Sherrie, in her skimpy outfits that show off her killer abs! I admit that I was initially skeptical about this casting since Vina seemed too old to play Sherrie. However, her bravura performances of "Harden My Heart" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You" were really amazing. Though I did not really feel substantial romantic chemistry between Nyoy and Vina, their soaring duet of "High Enough" was a real showstopper!
Karen Kunawicz, The Manila Times: The icing on the cake is MiG Ayesa who plays Stacee Jaxx and quite possibly a singing burrito (you'll have to see it for yourself). Mr. Ayesa, who has played Stacee Jaxx on the touring production of "Rock of Ages" in the US [and on Broadway] jetted into Manila just to play the role over here.
It was great to see the audience really loosen up and just let go laughing, applauding and for some, knowing every single lyric of every single song.
"Rock of Ages" is big on hair, big on get-ups, big on cheese, big on the music, big on the comedy and biggest of all on the energy. Go loosen up, get goofy and watch. Rock on.
Baby A. Gil, The Philippine Star: It is an overflow of talent with MiG Ayesa as Stacee Jaxx, Jett Pangan as Lonny, Jamie Wilson as Dupree and Jinky Llamanzares as Justice Charlier, Calvin Millado and Bibo Reyes as the father-and-son villains Franz and Hertz, and Aiza Seguerra as rock militant Regina.