Monday, June 26, 2017
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Review: Rock ‘N’ Roll musical, Red Rock Diner

Petrina D'Souza, 31 Dec, 1969
  • Review: Rock ‘N’ Roll musical, Red Rock Diner
Arts Club Theatre Company’s Rock ‘N’ Roll musical, Red Rock Diner, is being performed in various parts of British Columbia till November 22, and boy should one not miss it. 
 
Written by Dean Regan, Red Rock Diner made its debut in 1998. “Dean Regan's Red Rock Diner, inspired by disc jockey Red Robinson, has been one of our most successful musical revues since its 1998 debut,” says Artistic Managing Director of Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company, Bill Millerd. “The tour will not only play the Metro Vancouver theatres but also tour into the interior of the province as well as on Vancouver Island.”
 
While still in high school in 1954, 16-year-old Robinson began his legendary broadcasting career at radio station CJOR. He was one of the first DJs to play Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and other rock ‘n’ roll artists on regular rotation in Canada.
 
In the musical, five teens come of age in 1957 Vancouver while a young disc jockey named Red Robinson plays the biggest hits of the time - from the raucous “Great Balls of Fire” and “Jailhouse Rock” to ballads like “Diana” and “Crying.” This infectious musical captures the excitement and innocence of the city’s burgeoning rock ‘n’ roll scene.
 
And yes, jus as it is defined, the musical definitely captured not only the excitement of the rock ‘n’ roll scene of the ‘50s but also of the audience who enjoyed the show till the very end – 70 percent of whom were elderly people. Yet, the show was for the old and young alike. Filled with catchy and energetic songs, and witty humour thrown in here and there, there was never a dull moment. 
 
Shown in two parts, both acts were equally entertaining, one with the backdrop of teenagers hanging out at a diner, and the other based on a graduation day theme. Some of the popular tracks in the musical – “Johnny Angel”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Rockin’ Robin”, “Stupid Cupid”, “Ready Teddy”, “Dream Lover”, and “Stand by Me”, among many others.
 
If you find Act One entertaining, Act Two will blow your mind with its humour and amazing songs. And well, if you want to join in the fun, you surely can. The musical ends with actors asking people from the audience to join in and dance to tracks such as “Diana”, “Oh, Donna”, and “Hello Mary Lou”. 
 
Red Rock Diner is a must-watch show. While it gave the young crowd a glimpse of what the 1950s was like, the older generation was seen tapping their feet, clapping and singing along, and reminiscing the good old days.
 
The musical will be performed at various parts of B.C. For more information and tickets, log on to artsclub.com.