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Theatre Review: Rock & Roll Heaven

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Rock & Roll Heaven

Theater 68, Hollywood
thru August 27

Book, Music, Lyrics: Jason Mershon
Directed by Jason Mershon

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The premise for the musical "Rock And Roll Heaven" is pretty simple: what happens when hedonistic musicians (Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morisson, John Lennon, Janis Joplin et al, and rather inexplicably, Judy Garland) end up in heaven? It seemed likely to impress me when I first heard about it- me, whose first love was musical theater, and whose second love was rock ’n roll. Unfortunately, I was largely disappointed, as the script and the execution failed to deliver on the promise of the premise

Now to be fair, I had high expectations going into this show as I assumed that professional theater in LA would be of a similar caliber to professional theater in New York- which is where I have had the majority of my theater-viewing experience. Perhaps that is why my surprise at the amateurish quality of the production was so intense.

Everything struck me as rather juvenile, from the lighting scheme (I use the word scheme rather lightly) to the costumes (which all looked like they’d been purchased at the Halloween Warehouse- though I did appreciate Satan’s red converse sneakers) to, the quality of the performances.