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Today our Spotlight – Rock of Ages. We are chatting with Dr. JP Gedeon about the award-winning Broadway Musical that is hitting the stage in Toronto in February 2023 and just what’s in store for this one.

Could you please give our readers some insight into your role in this show?

I would be very happy to. Over the pandemic, through conversations with close friends and associates, I decided that I really wanted to do something to help kick-start the Toronto theatre scene after the intense restrictions of the pandemic. So to that end, I founded More Entertainment, a company dedicated to presenting new, exciting, and dynamic presentations of shows, concerts, and spectaculars. Since inception, I have been able to bring on a world-class group of administrators, marketers, producers, creatives, and technical people in order to form an expert team – a team to whom I owe so much of our current success. I am currently acting as the executive producer of the show and have been lucky enough to garner the faith of investors, who are just as eager as I am to thrill Toronto audiences in 2023.

Being the CEO of More Entertainment means you can bring lots of fun to the fans. How does the Rock of Ages open the door to new events in the future?

I think the answer to this question can be provided in two parts. The first is about Rock of Ages itself. The Toronto production of Rock of Ages is but its inaugural presentation. Thereafter, we are very happy to say that the show will be embarking on an international tour, hitting locations overseas first, then returning for a robust tour of Canada and the United States. As such, I urge my fellow Torontonians to get their tickets now, before the show goes off and rocks the rest of the globe!

The second part of the answer really is more about More Entertainment. It is my hope, as well as that of my amazing team, that Rock of Ages is but the first of many offerings we can bring to this exciting city. In future years, we are hoping to be able to offer not only further theatre shows, but also concerts, festivals, special events, and spectaculars to the Toronto scene.

What drew you to Rock of Ages and the nostalgia of the ‘80s?

Well, let’s just start with the most obvious thing: Rock of Ages’ iconic 80s power anthems that pervade the show! I have always loved the music of the 80s for its passion, power, and distinct sound. I can’t help but happily sing along with every song from this score while making funny faces and bopping around the room.  But also, what really attracted me to this show was its infectious energy and nostalgia. After so many years of pandemic restrictions and confusion, Rock of Ages transports us to a simpler, more innocent, and happier time. It gives us a moment where we can again feel the freedom of youth, dance to our favorite songs, and remember what it means to laugh and party together.

As someone who loves classic rock, I’m excited about the show’s soundtrack. What are some of your favorites or stand-out pieces for this one?

For me, there are so many stand-out, toe-tapping sing-along moments in the show. In fact, the entire score digs into my nostalgic side and reminds me of those lazy Saturday mornings in the 80s, with the radio blaring in the background. I think audiences won’t be able to help belting out songs like I Wanna Rock, We Built This City, We’re Not Gonna Take It, Dead or Alive, The Final Countdown, Pour Some Sugar on Me, and of course, Don’t Stop Believing. Featuring songs from Quiet Riot, Poison, Whitesnake, Pat Benatar, Styx, Starship, Twisted Sister, Joan Jett, REO Speedwagon, Survivor, Foreigner, and Guns N’ Roses, amongst other platinum-selling artists, Rock of Ages is not your typical music. It is a perfect and gnarly concoction of a rock show on the one hand, and hilarious comedy on the other. It’s something you simply have to experience!

If you’d have to pick your favorite ‘80s trend, what would it be?

I am not necessarily proud to admit it, but I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth. So that means that my favourite 80s trend is the return of the many snacks and treats that were offered back then. Starting of course with everyone’s favourite – Fun Dip! But also, let’s not forget Bazooka Gum, Pop Rocks, Bottle Caps, Big League Chew and Pixie Stix. Once we add in 80s fashion trends like leg warmers, bright colours, leathers, and shoulder pads, how could we even go wrong??

I ask this question to every musician I interview, and I think your answer could be interesting. What is something on your go-to playlist that people wouldn’t expect you to like listening to?

I think because I was raised in a multi-lingual, French-inspired household, my go-to playlist contains many of the popular French artists of old, such as Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Joe Dassin, and Michel Sardou. When I hear these ‘before-my-time’ tunes, I am transported back to my childhood, with its feelings of freedom and innocence, and as a result, I simply feel good. I especially love that such artists did not only present powerful and memorable music, but also poetic, incisive, and deeply moving lyrics – which means that this music allows me to find new meanings and nuances, even at my current age.

Can you give us a 1 or 2-sentence elevator pitch as to why Torontonians need to see this show?

This will be Rock of Ages like you have never seen it before. The design is powered by immersive elements all contained within a vaulting multi-media, rock set – affixed with rock lighting, powerful sound, huge dance, and incredible songs. Far from being simply a concert-style event, we have put together a world-class cast and crew that will deliver a full-scale, dynamic, and beautifully told story – both melting your heart and rocking your world. This is truly the new Rock of Ages for a 2023 audience. We promise: this is NOT your “old theatre friend’s” Rock of Ages (respect). It is definitely everything you’ve ever wanted to hear and see! And of course, I cheated a little as this was more than two sentences…!

Spotlight – Rock of Ages is a wrap and we are excited about the show! Big thank you to Dr. JP Gedeon for taking the time to chat about the show and the excitement that’s coming

Get your tickets today as they are already selling fast. You’re NOT gonna want to miss out on this!

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