From the Las Vegas 'SUN'
September 09, 2004
VegasBeat -- Timothy McDarrah: 'We Will Rock You' strikes a chord on Strip
Rock us, they did.
There isn't a roof on the pool deck at Paris Las Vegas, but if there was it would have been blown off.
If you have a cigarette lighter nearby, flick it and hold it up as you read the rest of this.
At the afterparty for "We Will Rock You," the musical that officially opened its Las Vegas production Wednesday night, Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen -- and a host of musical guests -- delivered a blazing 50-minute set that sent shock waves through the 2,000 or so guests.
"It has been a long time since since we rocked and rolled," shouted an ebullient Taylor before he performed a raucous version of the Led Zeppelin classic "Rock and Roll."
Then May called for "Mr. Loaf -- is there a Mr. Loaf in the house?" before Meat Loaf took center stage, ripped off his leather jacket and launched into the classic "Johnny B. Goode."
Even Freddie Mercury, who is up there somewhere, must have heard the thunderous ovation after that one.
Is Queen king? "You could say that," Robert De Niro, a co-producer of "We Will Rock You," mumbled to us after he zoomed across the red carpet and before he entered Le Theatre des Arts for the show.
The crowd included Beatle Paul McCartney's half-sister Ruth McCartney and her husband, Martin Nethercutt, Monty Python's Eric Idle, "Absolutely Fabulous" star Jennifer Saunders, power lawyer Allen Grubman (father of the infamous Lizzie Grubman) and such local personalities as Robin Leach, Martin Nievera, Jeff Beacher, Harry Morton, Tony Sacca and Paris Las Vegas prez Bobby Yee.
From those, the consensus was that the show is perfect Las Vegas entertainment.
The pop-culture and current-events references -- all penned by show writer Ben Elton -- are hilarious. While Clay Aiken is a pretty easy target, lines such as how the bad guys in the show are not going to find "(musical) instruments of mass destruction" ignited the crowd.
The many jokes at the expense of Celine Dion, Cirque du Soleil and Wayne Newton are funny, but not mean-spirited.
And, if a heavily muscled black man with a mohawk going by the name Britney Spears and singing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" doesn't epitomize the unconventional and rebellious spirit of rock 'n' roll, well, we don't know what does.
The show is set in the far-off future, when music has been outlawed. The plot revolves around two young Bohemians and their search for the last guitar on Earth, which they eventually learn is entombed in the walls of Graceland.
It is a rough approximation of the myth of King Arthur pulling out the sword, Excalibur, from the stone.
But in this story, there's a lot more rocking.
"I was pretty happy with everything," May told us after the show. "The kids did a good job."
Tony Vincent, who stars as Galileo, and Aspen Miller, who stars as Scaramouche (they alternate with co-leads Jason Wooten and Kacie Sheik), are the main characters, and they earned well-deserved raves afterward, as did the rest of the cast, including Ty Taylor (Spears), Patti Russo as the evil Killer Queen and Douglas Crawford as her meanie sidekick, Khashoggi.
"Five thumbs up," Leach proclaimed at the afterparty.
Some random pix: http://www.metalloaf.com/newsWWRYpremierparty.htm