‘Rock of Ages’ celebrates 80s rock, fashion at DPAC

February 19, 2019

When the Rock of Ages rolls into Durham this week, expect a love letter to the 1980s.

“What is so great about Rock of Ages is that it is a mix of all these great 80s rock songs that are blended to the tell the story of the Sunset Strip,” said Chris Renalds, who plays Franz in the show at Durham Performing Arts Center Friday and Saturday. ”(It’s) a way to look back at the 80s and remember how fun they were.”

Renalds, 27, doesn’t actually remember the 1980s.

“My parents loved a lot of 80s music. It’s the music we grew up listening to,” he said.

Before graduating college, Renalds saw “Rock of Ages” on Broadway and immediately wanted to play the part of Franz, the son of a German developer who plans to demolish the Sunset Strip. Now, he is getting his chance.

“For the 10th anniversary tour, it is a full circle for me,” Renalds said. “It’s the most fun that I’ve had on stage in a long time.”

And for the iconic 1980s style?

“I describe it as a fabulous steaming pile of hot garbage,” Renalds said of the decade’s questionable fashion and hairstyles.

Rock of Ages plays DPAC Friday and Saturday. Tickets are still available.