Ironically, the Def Leppard song from which the show takes its title doesn’t feature in the musical as the band wouldn’t approve the license, but over 20 other head-banging anthems from the 1980s do. Amongst these are “Sister Christian”, “I Wanna Rock”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “Come on Feel the Noize”, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “The Final Countdown” and “Don’t Stop Believin’” and others from bands including Styx, Twisted Sister, Poison and Bon Jovi.
The Eighties-set story centres on Drew, a busboy and aspiring rocker who chases his dreams and the love of a small-town girl newly arrived from Kansas, named Sherrie.
The musical, which has a book by Chris D'Arienzo and is directed by Kristin Hanggi, premiered in LA in 2006. It opened Off-Broadway in October 2008, before opening this past April at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinston Theater, where it’s still running. It was nominated for five Tony Awards this year but went home empty-handed from the ceremony that was dominated by Brit import Billy Elliot (See News, 8 Jun 2009).