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Alumni News

Riding the '80s Revival

June 04, 2010

Rock of Ages

Music Theatre – Performance grads welcome back big hair and the power ballad with roles in Mirvish’s latest musical, Rock of Ages and Stage West’s The Wedding Singer.

Aaron Walpole (Music Theatre – Performance ’01, ’04 Canadian Idol contestant), David W. Keeley and Peter Deiwick (former students) are starring in the latest Mirvish musical, Rock of Ages. The hit show is about a small town girl and big-city rocker in Los Angeles who fall in love listening to the greatest songs of the ’80s. Aaron plays the sound man at a Hollywood bar who also acts as narrator for the story. David, whose career spans the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and Broadway, plays the owner of the bar. The role of rock star Stacee Jaxx is played by Peter, who got his big break in the Toronto cast of Mamma Mia! The ensemble cast includes Caleb Cosman, ’08, Cody Scott Lancaster, ’09, and former student Valerie Stanois. The musical premiered at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre last month to outstanding reviews. Read the latest about Aaron.

Matthew Campbell (Music Theatre – Performance ’02) is taking on the Adam Sandler role in a theatrical musical remake of the comedy film, The Wedding Singer. Set in 1985, the play features rock and dance music from that time frame. The play runs until July 4 at Mississauga’s Stage West Theatre.

Matthew has worked with Stage West before, including roles in both its productions of The British Invasion. When he’s not performing in shows, Matthew plays a weekly gig at Toronto’s Pauper’s Pub. He has been a guitarist, pianist, singer and session musician in the city since 2002, having shared the stage with Sarah Harmer, Tom Cochrane and The Derek Miller Band.

A native of Oakville, Matthew wasn’t keen on staying in his hometown after high school but found Sheridan’s Music Theatre program to be the best in the country, with “teachers and musicians unmatched in their talent and dedication.”
He is drawn to singing and music theatre for its power as an art form. “Through the story of the song, no matter what the style of the material, the singer and the audience can disappear into another world and perhaps find clarity or peace in their own lives. Singing is one of the first and most effective natural medicines in existence,” says Matthew.

Aaron Walpole 
Aaron Walpole (right) and Yvan Pedneault in the Toronto cast of Rock of Ages 
Photo by Roger Cullman