Elicia MacKenzie lands Rock of Ages lead

Elicia MacKenzie, currently starring in the Toronto stage production of The Sound of Music, has landed the leading role in the musical Rock of Ages, which will open in Toronto in April.

Musical opens April 20 in Toronto

Elicia MacKenzie, currently starring in the Toronto stage production of The Sound of Music, has landed the leading role in the musical Rock of Ages, which will open at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre in April.

MacKenzie is one of six Canadian performers who have roles in the upcoming musical, Mirvish Productions announced on Tuesday. She won a Dora Award for her role as Maria von Trapp, the part she snared through the CBC-TV talent competition How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

Rock of Ages focuses on a young rocker, hungry for his big break, and a small town girl who meet in 1987 at a legendary Hollywood club. The score includes the hit songs of rock and heavy metal bands like Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake and others.

Originally from Vancouver, MacKenzie will play the role of Sherrie, an impressionable young woman who comes to Los Angeles to break into show business.

Yvan Pedneault will star opposite her as Drew, the young rock 'n' roll talent. Pedneault hails from Sept-Îles, Que., and is best known for playing Galileo in the Canadian premiere of We Will Rock You.

Aaron Walpole of London, Ont., will play Lonny, the quick-witted sound guy who acts as the story's narrator. A finalist in the third season of CTV's Canadian Idol, Walpole has performed at London's Grand Theatre and at the Stratford Festival.

Veteran Canadian actor David W. Keeley will play Dennis, owner of the Bourbon Room, one of the Sunset Strip's legendary music clubs.

Peter Deiwick, who played Sky in Mamma Mia! in Toronto and Gilbert in the musical Anne and Gilbert in Prince Edward Island, will play the rock star Stacee Jaxx.

Victor A. Young, who has performed in musicals such as The Desert Song,Crazy for You and Dirty Dancing, will play Hertz, the evil businessman who wants to strip away all the fun from the Sunset Strip.

The remaining cast will be announced in the new year.

Rock of Ages, directed by Kristin Hanggi and choreographed by Kelly Devine, will open at the Royal Alexandra on April 20.

Jan. 3 will mark the final Toronto performance of The Sound of Music. By that date, the show will have played 68 weeks and been seen by more than 900,000 people, according to Mirvish Productions.