Share this article

​Rocky Rhodes goes missing somewhere in America, and Route 66 FM decides to track him down. Go along for the ride in American Anthems, a rollicking rock musical.
A CAST of 14 singers and dancers, supported by a live band promise to take Joburg audiences on a foot-tapping journey down rock music’s memory lane as they recapture some classic American music hits.

Classic American music fans can can catch American Anthems atClassic American music fans can catch American Anthems at the Nelson Mandela TheatreIn an exclusive first for South Africa, American Anthems will be presented on Joburg Theatre Complex’s Nelson Mandela Stage from 21 February to 11 March.

Heading to the city of gold directly from its British tour, American Anthems – produced by Essence Productions in association with Harley-Davidson UK – is a festival of rock music that tells the fictional tale of the search for the legendary rock star, Rocky Rhodes.

He disappeared in the early 1990s at the height of his fame, and now Route 66 FM tracks him across the United States to bring him back for one last concert.

The score includes songs by Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, The Eagles, Elvis Presley, Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton and others, such as Born to Run, Living on a Prayer, Sweet Child of Mine, Proud Mary, Walking in Memphis, We Built This City, Bat out of Hell, America, St Elmo’s Fire and many more.

Ryan Mills of Essence Productions says: “We are very excited to be coming to South Africa for the first time, bringing a production like American Anthems – which features some of our finest musicians, singers and dancers – to a country that enjoys its rock music.”

Bernard Jay, chief executive officer of the Joburg Theatre, points out that the complex stages its programmes “with the intent of bringing a true variety of shows to its patrons throughout each year. So I’m delighted that we have, after some amount of searching, found a classic show for rockers in American Anthems”.

Bringing the show to South Africa for an exclusive season, in a break from its long UK tour, also opens the door for Joburg Theatre to an exciting new relationship with Essence Productions, a successful and prolific British company, he says. “We very much look forward to bringing our patrons more and more variety of programming in the future through the opportunities afforded to us in this business partnership.”

American Anthems is suitable for all ages. Tickets are priced from R120 and are on sale through the Joburg Theatre Complex website or by calling the theatre’s direct ticketing line on 0861 670 670.

Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling the theatre’s ticketing office on 011 877 6853/4.

Related stories:

Full dance programme ahead
Year of music at Joburg Theatre
Joburg Theatre turns 50
Bringing theatre to the people
Related links:

Joburg: art, culture and heritage