Prey For Rock & Roll

Rock and roll may never forget, but it ignores a whole lot of passionate musicians who hock their youth and dreams to the vision of standing in a spotlight, seducing a besotted crowd with the sheer power of their incandescent presence. Alex Steyermark's adaptation of one-time punk rocker Cheri Lovedog's semi-autobiographical musical play poses the cruelest...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Rock and roll may never forget, but it ignores a whole lot of passionate musicians who hock their youth and dreams to the vision of standing in a spotlight, seducing a besotted crowd with the sheer power of their incandescent presence. Alex Steyermark's adaptation of one-time punk rocker Cheri Lovedog's semi-autobiographical musical play poses the cruelest question a dreamer can face: At what point do you concede that the hit parade has passed you by? Los Angeles tattoo artist Jacki (Gena Gershon) supports her music habit by pushing ink, living for the occasional gigs of her four-woman band, Clam Dandy. Jacki is guitarist and lead singer; drugged-out bassist Nikki (Drea De Matteo), drummer Sally (Shelley Cole) and her girlfriend, guitarist Faith (Lori Petty) are all true believers who can't imagine life without the beat. But they've also spent a lot of years playing the same low-rent, no-money venues, posting the same xeroxed flyers and pleading with the same druggie clubbers to come to the show. Jacki is one hot rock 'n' roll mama, all raccoon eyeliner, lavish body art and cool-as-hell lace-up leathers. But she fell for punk when Darby Crash was the new kid on the block, and with her 40th birthday looming she's in the grips of a full-fledged crisis of faith. Sure, Joan Jett, patron saint of tough chicks with guitars, loved rock and roll — but it loved her back. Jacki's been around the block enough times to know there's no percentage in unrequited passion. As Jacki ponders her options, the others face their own trials: sexual harassment, abusive relationships, addiction, rape, family trauma and violence. Lovedog did her time in the trenches; during the '80s her band, Lovedog, opened for Jane's Addiction, Guns n' Roses and other bands that went on to bigger and better things while Lovedog got left behind. Her credibility is impeccable, but even after a series of rewrites (one of which produced a play that ran at New York's CBGB), her lightly fictionalized account of her experiences remains slack and directionless, more a string of set pieces than a coherent narrative. The music is generally undistinguished, with the exception of the searing "Every Six Minutes," an anguished condemnation of sexual violence, but the cast is top notch and Gershon — who's got some chops — is phenomenal. She followed her performance by touring its songs live, backed by members of NYC noise rock band Girls Against Boys.

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  • Released: 2003
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Rock and roll may never forget, but it ignores a whole lot of passionate musicians who hock their youth and dreams to the vision of standing in a spotlight, seducing a besotted crowd with the sheer power of their incandescent presence. Alex Steyermark's ad… (more)

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