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Power Balladz

This interactive tribute show to the hard-rock music of the 1980s proves to be enjoyable entertainment.

Dieter Bierbrauer, Mary Mossberg, and
Scott RIchard Foster in Power Balladz
(© Carol Rosegg)
Power Balladz, the interactive concert designed for die-hard rock enthusiasts now at the Midtown Theater, proves to be an enjoyable evening for fans of that music, as well as genuine fun for those who normally find themselves watching Glee for their musical entertainment. In many ways, though, it's also simply Rock of Ages with a lot less plot and production values.

Through a series of one-liners and a few imaginative visual jabs conceived by creators Mike Todaro, Dan Nycklemoe, and Peter Rothstein, the show's passionate and strong-voiced stars, Dieter Bierbauer and Scott Richard Foster, tell a quick story of their experience growing up with power ballads.

From the opening notes of "Sweet Child O' Mine" resounding from the depths of the audience, to "Sister Christian" being accompanied by Scott's air guitar, to an impressive strobe light show set to "Alone", the best rock hits are all covered with an extra something special. No one should miss the guys' rendition of Styx's "Come Sail Away," which is enhanced in ways you would have to see to believe.

In addition -- and here's where the interactive part comes in -- Scott and Dieter introduce the Rock History Trivia Question, the Lyric Challenge, and the Thirty Second Hair Challenge, in which the show's third star, Mary Mossberg, has to tease her hair to Lita Ford-like proportions in 30 seconds.

Although the venue is small, the five-piece band sounds huge. In fact, the real star of Power Balladz is drummer Brad Carbone, who, with every beat, gives new meaning to the word :"power." The small audience gets the front-row treatment of an arena show, without having to battle the crowds. Nothing wrong with that.