Dublin Scioto High School theater director Patricia Santanello has a personal relationship with the Broadway musical "Rock of Ages."

Her son, John Spiker, was a sound designer for the original production, when the show was at a bar on Hollywood's Sunset Strip in 2005.

When "Rock of Ages" was nominated for a Tony award in 2009, Santanello attended the awards show.

"I've kind of been interested in this show from the get go," she said.

Now that writer Chris D'Arienzo has produced a high school version of the musical, Santanello has the opportunity to lead her Scioto students through the show.

"It really keeps the essence of the story and the feel of the story while making it high school appropriate," Santanello said.

Scioto High School will present "Rock of Ages" at 8 p.m. April 28 and 29 and 2 p.m. April 30 at the high school, 4000 Hard Road.

The musical is a contemporary one that features 1980s rock music including songs by Journey and Def Leppard, Santanello said.

"It's a follow-your-dreams story," she said.

Part of the reason for the show's popularity is that it doesn't take itself seriously, Santanello said.

There is a great deal of audience interaction and the narrator in particular talks to the audience the whole time, she said.

"That's a really neat element of the show," Santanello said.

Sophomore Liam Carr plays the show's narrator, Lonny.

As part of his role, the 15-year-old said he goes into the audience regularly to ask their opinions of the show and deliver quick and witty one-liners.

"He's very outgoing, very eccentric," Carr said of his character.

Senior Jacob LeRoy plays Drew, the male lead. LeRoy, 17, described his character as a nice guy who dreams with becoming a rock icon. He said he appreciates how down to earth Drew is.

"I really feel like I connect with him," LeRoy said.

The musical selection is also a favorite for LeRoy, who said his dad always plays the '80s songs that appear in the show.

"I knew 95 percent of it going into it," he said.

Still, participating in "Rock of Ages" has given him the opportunity to learn more about the songs by familiarizing himself with not just the lyrics but also the harmonies and foundations of the songs, LeRoy said.

Andrea Gutierrez, a 17-year-old senior, plays the female lead and Drew's love interest, Sherrie.

She said she enjoys how her character, a small town native, grows wiser throughout the show through her experiences.

Guitierrez also said she enjoys the show as a whole. She said it is much different than a typical musical.

"The music is just a lot of fun," she said.

Santanello said her students know the music, but the show has given them an opportunity to learn more about the clothes, television and culture of the '80s.

"For them, this is a period piece," she said.

For more information about Scioto High School's production of "Rock of Ages," go to dublinsciototheatre.org.

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