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Elicia MacKenzie

Hot Date: Rock Out with This ’80s Musical

Yvan Pedneault and Elicia MacKenzie in Rock of Ages

ON NOW Get ready for big dreams, big tunes and big fun with the hit musical Rock of Ages. Set in the 1980’s, this production follows two young lovers, Drew and Sherrie—played by Canadian stage idols Yvan Pedneault and Elicia MacKenzie—trying to make it big in glitzy Los Angeles. Music by Styx, Twisted Sister, Journey and more helps the pair sing their way to fame. Royal Alexandra Theatre, Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m., Sunday 7 p.m., $30 to $175; call 416-872-1212 or visit Ticket King to buy.

Rockin’ Good Time

A new rock musical proclaims: “Don’t Stop Believing” in the power of 1980s nostalgia.
By Meaghan Lamb

Rock-musical revivalists will recognize Yvan Pedneault, lately of We Will Rock You (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

OPENS APRIL 20 Teeze out your hair, dust off your Flying V guitar and raise your lighter high as the Tony Award–nominated Rock of Ages thunders into the Royal Alexandra Theatre for its Canadian premiere.

Taking full advantage of the trend of using popular music to tell a story (think Queen and Ben Elton’s We Will Rock You and ABBA’s Mamma Mia!), Rock of Ages matches retro ‘80s mega-hits with a boy-meets-girl saga of love and ambition. For the Toronto version of this Broadway blockbuster, a lusty-lunged Canadian cast dons distressed denim and headbands to belt out bombastic anthems including Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.”Quebec native Yvan Pedneault—rock chops sharply honed thanks to his lead role in the Toronto production of We Will Rock You—plays Drew, an edgy musician with vocal cords set to wail, while British Columbia–bred ingenue Elicia MacKenzie co-stars as Sherrie, a small-town girl with a big-screen dream. The actress knows a thing or two about wish fulfillment—she got her own big break when Canadian television viewers picked her to star as fräulein Maria in the recent acclaimed staging of The Sound of Music.

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September Hot Date: Tribute to Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim

SEPTEMBER 21 & 28 Legendary is probably the best word to describe Stephen Sondheim. Over the course of an illustrious, decades-long career, the American composer has scored such beloved musicals as Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods, and wrote the lyrics to West Side Story. This month, Sondheim in September brings selections from his famed repertoire to Toronto over several nights. Among the interpreters of these well-known tunes are Elicia MacKenzie—currently starring as Fräulein Maria in The Sound of Music—and Jeff Madden from Jersey Boys. Metropolitan Community Church, 8 p.m., $25 for each show; call 647-367-8477 or click here for tickets.