Stage West will 'Rock' Essentia Health Plaza with production this week

Stage West will 'Rock' Essentia Health Plaza with "Rock of Ages" production starting this week

The cast of “Rock of Ages” sings during their performance presented by Stage West on Monday, July 19, 2021, at the Essentia Health Plaza at The Lights in West Fargo. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

WEST FARGO — The Essentia Health Plaza at the Lights in West Fargo is about to be rocked, and it's not by an outside commercial artist.

Stage West Productions, the newly formed artistic arm of West Fargo Events, is bringing the musical, "Rock of Ages" to the outdoor plaza July 23-26 and July 28-29. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m.

"Rock of Ages" is a musical production that features classic rock hits from the 1980s from artists such as Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Journey, REO Speedwagon, Def Leppard and more, with a cast of about 22 and a five-member band that will perform onstage.

And while this week will showcase the local premiere of the longtime Broadway hit, it will also feature many familiar faces in the cast as well as Adam Pankow, a former West Fargo School District director and producer for 11 years.

"This show was open to our community and people of all ages to audition," Pankow said. "The youngest is about 17 or 18 years old and the oldest is 25 or 26. It's a young cast, but they bring a lot of energy."


Pankow said while none of the cast grew up in the 80s, their love for the iconic decade and its music has shone through.

"It's been the soundtrack of their life and they are very excited for this," Pankow said. "They are maybe more 80s fans than people who grew up in the 80s."

Stage West is a newly formed producing arm of West Fargo Events, the nonprofit group that helps manage city properties such as the Plaza at the Lights and the VFW outdoor plaza as well as West Fest and Cruise Nights. Stage West celebrates local artists and arts patrons through live performance, education and cultural experiences that serve and connect the community.

Pankow said he, Mike Amundson with West Fargo Events and city officials are excited about Stage West's premiere show and to offer a home to artists in West Fargo.

"Our goal is to do artistic or theater things and give that some emphasis in the community while providing some varied experiences," Pankow said. "The city is excited about it and they are excited they can put their name on it and say the arts are important in our community and maybe this can grow into something bigger. I really applaud them for saying this venue is more than for just big concerts."

Tickets can be purchased at for $15 to $18 general admission. VIP tickets near the firepits or tables for four are available for $200-$220 and reserved tickets can be purchased for $18-$28.

The show is recommended for ages 13 and up.


As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
What To Read Next
Get Local