Rock of Ages | Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 5 2012
Price: $70-$80
Stupid? Goes without saying. Author Chris D'Arienzo makes it clear he knows exactly how much ridiculous shit went into the making of this 2005 jukebox musical focused on 80s rock. The kids-from-sticks romance, the evil-real-estate-developer subplot, the sex-and-drugs slapstick—it's all part of the joke. What D'Arienzo and his colleagues may not realize is how many racist motifs play through the touring production currently running here. Due mainly to sloppy casting, we get a kind of trifecta of ugly caricatures: a black big-city mayor whose eyes go Stepin Fetchit wide at the sight of a bribe, a black snake of a manager for the aspiring-rock-star hero, and a black mother hen at the local lap-dance palace. Taken together—and added to the show's pro-forma, chicks-are-toys sexism—these turns give a bigoted edge to what D'Arienzo no doubt saw as an honest piece of hucksterism. —Tony Adler


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