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Centennial Secondary gets loud with 'Rock of Ages'

Coquitlam high school musical is under the direction of Grade 12 student Talia Petrescu.

Centennial Secondary goes back to 1987 next month, when the hair was big and the music bigger.

For its winter production, the Coquitlam high school is shining a light on the musical Rock of Ages, telling the story about a small-town girl pursuing her Hollywood dreams.

Sherrie Christian follows her heart to the Bourbon Club on Sunset Strip, where she meets Drew Boley.

And, despite the twists about the club's future, the pair — and others — is united in hard rock tunes.

"There's a lot of music in the show," said Grade 12 student Katrina Kreschuk, who plays a Bourbon employee named Lonny Barnett.

"It's a lot of fun to perform and listen to."

The cast of 25 musical theatre students started rehearsals for Rock of Ages last October, including vocal training with Carole Baker, who is now retired as the music teacher.

Among the 80s anthems they learned are "Sister Christian," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" and "Don't Stop Believin'."

Amber Hipditch, Grade 12, said she prepared for the character of Sherrie Christian by watching YouTube videos of professional and high school productions of Rock of Ages.

A former student of Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts, Hipditch, 18, is also the show choreographer.

Hanbin Cho, who portrays the club owner Dennis Dupree, said Rock of Ages is his first high school musical.

"I saw Centennial’s show last year and I was just blown away. It was really exciting and entertaining. I knew I wanted to be a part of it this year," the Grade 11 student said.

As for William Glukler, a Grade 10 student who plays the rock star Stacee Jaxx, he relishes the role.

"Stacee is really past his prime. He adores attention and he really likes to bring the house down."

Directed by Grade 12 student Talia Petrescu, who also plays Drew, and the leadership of musical theatre teacher Nicole Hipditch, Rock of Ages runs in the school theatre at Centennial Secondary (570 Poirier St.) on Feb. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18. For more information, you can visit the show's online ticketing page.