'80s-inspired Broadway hit 'Rock of Ages' journeys north

Toben Shelby
"Rock of Ages" touring cast
Winslow Townson Photography
"Rock of Ages Touring" cast
Winslow Townson Photography

If you ever thought the Atwood Concert Hall could use a little more glitz and glam and a lot more rock (don't forget denim, studded jackets and a whole bunch of hair product), then you might not get a better chance than "Rock of Ages" to see how the hall handles an '80s makeover.

A musical comedy featuring classic rock songs from Journey, Styx, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison and more, "Rock of Ages" is a celebration of that era's music and all its over-the-top style.

The musical got its start in Los Angeles in 2005 before heading to the East Coast, arriving on Broadway in 2009. The Broadway show is still running and has spawned two U.S. tours. This latest one started in October 2011, which is when cast member Dominique Scott joined.

Scott plays the lead, Drew, a busboy in Los Angeles with aspirations of being a rock star. Since landing the role, Scott has completed more than 200 performances in dozens of cities. He and the other cast members face not only a lengthy road schedule, but also must do justice to some of the most beloved rock songs of the past three decades, with the story built around these well-loved tunes.

"The challenge is the repetition of it, having to do it over and over and over and over again," Scott, 24, said in a phone interview last week from Vancouver, British Columbia.

"Luckily, I had really great vocal training, so I knew when auditioning for this that this was something I was cut out for because of my skill set," he said.

Originally from Miami, Scott pursued theater in high school and college, eventually seeking out work in New York. "Rock of Ages" is the biggest show he's worked on, and it's also the longest run he has done. With hundreds of shows under his belt, Scott's grown to appreciate some of the unique opportunities "Rock of Ages" provides -- the show often breaks the fourth wall and welcomes audience interaction. Scott particularly enjoys how responsive everyone is to the finale, featuring a rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."

"Every city we go in, people get up on their feet and are clapping," Scott said. "Getting to share that communal aspect of that performance every night, where we're all just having a big party, is something that not a lot of other people get to do at their jobs, so that's definitely the best part and the thing I'm most appreciative of."

The show's run in Anchorage comes just about a month before the movie adaptation hits screens June 15. With a cast that includes Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the movie will be a bit different from the stage show, but Scott said he's excited to see how it plays out. He figures the movie will only draw more attention to the musical, and people who already like the stage show will want to check out the movie.

"It was made by the same producers (as the musical) and we've spoken to them. I think as long as it keeps the essence of what makes 'Rock of Ages' true to itself, I think that it'll be great," Scott said. " 'Rock of Ages' is something that's fun -- it's something that's lighthearted; it's something that's a big ball of energy."

'Rock of Ages'

When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday

Where: Atwood Concert Hall

Tickets: $40-$76, centertix.net


By Toben Shelby
Daily News correspondent