The Fort Totten Little Theater is presenting the musical comedy “Rock of Ages,” which opens Wednesday, July 8, at Roosevelt Park under the Elks Band Shelter in Devils Lake.
Performances begin at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through Aug. 6, with Sunday matinees set for 2 p.m. July 12 and 26, said Peter Foss, director.
With a cast of 28, the five-time Tony Award-nominated musical is filled with ‘80s rock music, Foss said. The play was made into a movie in 2012 and was produced on Broadway.
Emily Bibow is the show’s music director.
The story, set in 1987, centers on a small-town girl who goes to Los Angeles “to make it big as a rock singer,” Foss said.
At a music club on the Sunset Strip, The Bourbon Room, she meets and falls in love with a city boy who’s also chasing a Hollywood rock-star dream.
“But when the bar where rock music reigns supreme is set to be demolished, it’s up to these wannabe rockers and their band of friends to save the day -- and the music,” Foss said.
“There’s a lot of great music in the show,” he said, noting familiar songs such as “Sister Christian,” “Oh Sherrie” and “I Wanna Rock.”
The audience can also expect to hear hits by Def Leppard, Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Joan Jett, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benetar and others. All music is pre-recorded.
The show runs two hours, with an intermission.
“We’re trying to make it into more of an event than a musical,” Foss said.
A beer garden is planned and a concession stand will sell popcorn, pop, water and Italian soda, he said. There will also be carnival games “to make it kind of a fun time.”
Foss expects that attendees will enjoy the music the most, he said. “We have a great cast, the singing is really great, and it’s an outdoor atmosphere. By 8 at night, it has cooled off.”
In all, the show “is something different in Devils Lake,” he said. “I think people really need this kind of thing right now -- not a lot of things going on and they’ve been cooped up.”
Cast and crew members are: Emma Bennett, Emily Bibow, Cambree Blegen, Darcy Blegen, Gavin Brown, Anika Cavanaugh, Erin Clementich, Sean Clementich, Charlie Craddock, Glen Crowe, Abbey Dahl, Jeremy Eisenzimer, Kelcee Ewert, Joel Elvrum, Peter Foss, Brayden Gerhardt, Emma Hoover, Anna Janssen, Brynn Kroke, Brianne Langton, Weslie Langton, Phillip Maritato, Gabrielle McLaurin, Calder Nelson, Matt Nelson, Stephanie Nelson, Sydney Nelson, Brett Olson, Grace Quam, Isabelle Thompson, Sara Thompson and Brooke Wayman.
Like other arts organizations, the Little Theater has made changes to abide by public health guidelines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be the first time in its 57-year history that the theater is presenting its summer production outside the walls of its building at St. Michael, N.D.
Only 50% capacity would have been allowed in the building -- not enough of an audience to make the production profitable, Foss said. By hosting the event outdoors, more people could attend.
To comply with social distancing guidelines, seating arrangements allow for couples, families or groups to sit together with space between clusters. Seating options include blankets (on the ground near the stage), picnic tables, bench seats with backs, and stadium seating.
For ticket information, go to www.forttottenlittletheatre.com/tickets.html.
Ticketing options will be available for groups of 2, 4, 6 and 8.
Those who wish to purchase single tickets -- or any other odd number of tickets -- should call the theater’s box office at (701) 662-8888 to make arrangements, rather than reserve seats online.