The Gateway’s “Rock of Ages” Will Rock Your World!

“Rock of Ages” at The Gateway
“Rock of Ages” runs at The Gateway Playhouse through June 2, 2024.
Photo courtesy of

If you’re looking for a fun night out where you can rock out and let your hair down, look no further than The Gateway Playhouse. Their 75th season jump starts with a high-voltage production of the five-time Tony Award-nominated musical “Rock of Ages.”

This Broadway musical, with the book by Chris D’Arienzo and arrangements and orchestration by Ethan Popp, is a boisterous celebration of the glam metal bands of the ’80s. This show has romance, ribald humor, and a retro score of classic 1980s rock anthems, including the hits from the musical canon of Journey, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, and Twisted Sister.


Directed and choreographed by the mega-talented Keith Andrews, this must-see show features a cast of triple-threat superstars who can sing, dance, and act. Andrews also directed The Gateway’s critically acclaimed 2015 production of “Rock of Ages.” Under Michael Kaish’s astute musical direction, these powerhouse performers didn’t miss a beat. Additionally, the funky 80’s costumes by Janine Loesch and the big-hair wig design by Dustin Lawson transported the audience back to the “decade of decadence.”

“The Rock of Ages” was billed as “Broadway’s Best Party,” and the job of the ever-present onstage band is to keep the good vibes going. A big shout-out goes to the astounding band members: Michael Kaish, Jack Monteleone, Joe Loschiavo, Teddy Motz, and Brett Beiersdorfer.

Like thousands of other young people who flock to LA’s Sunset Strip, the lead characters dream of fame and fortune. Drew, brilliantly performed by Woody Scott White, is a bartender hellbent on being a rock star. Malia Monk aced the role of Sherrie, Drew’s love interest and an aspiring actress. White and Monk have some steamy scenes together, and the electrifying chemistry between them is one of the show’s highlights. Their heartfelt rendition of “The Search Is Over” was a memorable onstage moment.


Gateway veteran Christopher Persichetti has boundless energy and an abundance of comedic skills, which he puts to good use as Lonny, the charismatic narrator or “dramatic conjurer” of the show. Lonny is the crazy glue that holds the whole kit and caboodle together and requires the actor to be onstage throughout most of the show. The gifted Persichetti has the necessary stamina to pull off this triathlon of a theatrical role.

Aaron Fried, perfectly cast as Dennis, had the audience in stitches as the likable, laid-back owner of the legendary Bourbon Room on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Persichetti and Fried exhibited remarkable vocal and comedic abilities during the hilarious rendition of “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”

Ethan Carlson gave an outstanding performance as Franz, the mealy-mouthed son of a German developer determined to turn the Sunset Strip into a strip mall. Sarah Michele Lindsey, as Regina, received some of the biggest laughs of the evening. A showstopping number was “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” where the unstoppable Regina gets Franz to join forces with her. Lindsey and Carlson displayed their strong vocals, dance moves, comedic talents, and acrobatic skills during this high-energy number, much to the audience’s delight.

Ian Knauer has a commanding stage presence and was believable as Hertz, the calculating businessman and father. Hertz does have a gentler side, which came out during his moving rendition of REO Speedwagon’s beloved rock ballad “Keep On Loving You.”

Mark Ryan Anderson stole the show as the mega-rock star Stacee Jaxx, oozing sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll every time he steps on stage. Anderson’s free-flying blond mane, tight leather pants, and skin-baring animal print tops, combined with his innate sex appeal and stellar vocals, made him a standout performer. One of the funniest and sexiest scenes in the show takes place in the grungy, graffitied bathroom of the Bourbon Club, where Stacee and Sherrie hook up. These two star-powered performers belted out an unforgettable rendition of “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

Asia Kaleem, as Justice, the down-to-earth, nurturing owner of the Gentlemen’s Club, brought this stereotypical character to life. Kaleem wowed the audience with her pitch-perfect vocals during her breathtaking solos.

The top-notch ensemble includes Patrick Saint Ange, Jade Benton, Carly Caviglia, Joshua Shea Coates, Erik Daughterman, Kayleigh Hegarty, Josiah Hicks, Dakota Hoar, and Kelly Macmillan.

During the showstopping finale, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the ecstatic audience jumped up to join the festivities.


Risqué, ridiculous, and riotously funny, “Rock of Ages” will have you rocking out in your seats as you relive the extravagance and excesses of the Reagan-era 1980s. The show runs at The Gateway Playhouse through June 2, 2024. To purchase tickets, contact the Box Office at 631-286-1133 or visit


Content Advisory: This show might not be suitable for all ages. While there is no official rating system for live theatre, we encourage you to use your judgment based on age, maturity level, and subject matter.