Hickory – The central plot conflict of ROCK OF AGES, the jukebox musical by Chris D’Arienzo coming to the Hickory Community Theatre January 20 through February 4, is centered on a pair of German real estate developers, father and son, who want to turn the Sunset Strip into a strip mall and close down the hard rock nightclubs that call it home. In the HCT production those roles are played by local actors Ethan Fite and Mark Alton Rose.Two Local Actors Return For Rock Of Ages

Rose plays Hertz Klinemann, the gung-ho developer determined to see his vision succeed. Taking to the stage at an early age, Rose found theatre to be a great way to overcome shyness, and he has since appeared in over 80 theatrical productions. In 1983, Rose was “discovered” by director William Olsen while performing in a play, and was offered a role in the feature film GETTING IT ON. After receiving his college theatre degree in 1987, Rose moved to New York City to pursue his dream of being an actor. After six months in the big apple he moved to Virginia Beach, VA where he would begin a 20 year career in radio. He retired from radio and resumed his acting career in 2006 and has since acted in many television commercials, feature films and television series. His most recent roles at HCT include Shylock in SOMETHING ROTTEN, Lord Wessex in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and Donny in AMERICAN BUFFALO.

Fite plays Hertz’s son, Franz. Initially as driven as his father to complete their project, has a change of heart when he falls in love with Regina, the city planner who wants to preserve the Strip as it is. Fite made his HCT debut as Lady MacDuff and and Menteith in MACBETH last October. Though Fite has only recently begun his acting journey, he has already appeared in such notable productions as FROM THIS DAY FORWARD and CYRANO DE BERGERAC at Old Colony Players. He is thrilled to be taking on MACBETH at Hickory Community Theatre, and looks forward to future HCT performance opportunities. When not dedicating time to theatrical pursuits, Fite is busy speaking with all his wit as a Tik Tok content creator with almost 150,000 followers.

Performances of ROCK OF AGES are January 20 through February 4 in the Jeffers Theatre. Tickets for all performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students. For tickets visit hickorytheatre.org or call the box office at 828-328-2283.

The HCT’s 74th season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive, Sunbelt Xpress and Frye Regional Medical Center. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. ROCK OF AGES is produced by Alex Lee, Inc.

PHOTO: Mark Alton Rose (left) is Hertz and Ethan Fite is Franz in ROCK OF AGES, on stage in the Jeffers Theatre from January 20 through February 4 at the Hickory Community Theatre. Visit hickorytheatre.org or tickets and information. Photo by Eric Seale.