Backstage Baking to the 80’s Rock Jukebox

What is your favourite 80’s rock song? Last week, I went back to the 80’s and now I have that era’s rock soundtrack on the brain. I worked wardrobe for the North America touring cast show of Rock of Ages that was at the The Centre. 80’s clothes, rock music, and dialogue, based in Los Angeles circa mid to late 80’s. The music was awesome – no one can stand still when you have “Here I Go Again”, “Don’t Stop Believing”, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, and “Oh Sherrie” (to name a few) being sung around you. And this show and cast were fantastic (tour image below) , as are the people I work with, which made the six 18 hour days – day job to wardrobe job – much more fun, though no less exhausting.

My dressing assignments were two awesome guys named Chris (far left, back row) and Danny (back row, second from right). The former wears heels better than I ever, ever will (not in ROA – he is auditioning for a show that requires this talent and would practice in the hall; I never thought I would ever have to teach a boy about how to make heel more comfortable) and the latter was a super nice guy who had to wear the craziest green leather coat with spikes and feathers all over – amazing what rock stars wore back then. I forgot to take a picture (I was a bit busy, ha!) but I’ll leave it to your imagination. There is a Rock of Ages movie coming out in June and I am so excited to see Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. It has what looks to be a phenomenal cast.

Anyhow, partway through, my friend Sarah and I decided we wanted to bring in some baking for the cast and crew (and ourselves – the ladies in wardrobe needed sugar to survive a two-show day) on the Saturday. So Sarah made lemon pie bars and delicious muffins, and I made a couple batches of my honey oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. There was a fair amount of baked goods. The stage manager announced baking in the green room and let’s just say it was appreciated. Seeing one of my guys wearing a hoodie backwards to protect his costume, wig and all, so he could have cookies was quite funny. You’d think they’d never had sugar before, they were all so excited. I went downstairs during second show intermission to clean up and put any leftovers in a container for the next day, but there was nothing to put away. Nothing. They might as well have licked the containers clean. Best compliment ever for a baker. 🙂

Mid-way through the first show on Saturday…
Second show intermission… Gone, baby, gone.

Sarah kindly gave me her recipes because the muffins and the lemon bars were to die for. So good.

LEMON PIE BARS (Adapted from AllRecipes.com)
Yield: 32 squares


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (Use the juice from the lemon you are zesting and then supplement with RealJuice lemon jiuce.)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (Sarah uses 1 lemon’s worth of zest – makes a difference)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Mix 2 cups of flour and confectioner’s sugar together. Cut in the butter or margarine. Mix well until the dough resembles pie dough consistency. Press the dough into a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Beat together eggs, sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, lemon juice and lemon rind for at least 1 minute. Pour the mixture over the baked crust.
  5. Bake the bars another 20 minutes, or until the lemon topping has set. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar when cooled.

Yield: about 18 muffins


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1-1.5 tsp cinnamon (optional but recommended – Sarah does this and it’s awesome)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup walnuts/pecans (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. applesauce
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 6 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with a fork to blend. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, banana, peanut butter and buttermilk until smooth. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated and fully blended. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Two photos that I did get to take:

Bailey and Hank – The Canadian tour rep travels with her universally known dog. Such a sweet dog. The Ops VP at the theatre gave her a Henrik Sedin doll for a toy and Bailey was super protective of our hockey captain. Personally, I think he looks rather maniacal in doll form…
Official Wisconsin IATSE hoodie. All kinds of love for this.

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