Rock of Ages is the crazy-fun musical about the Sunset Strip’s music scene in the wild ’80s. A Broadway triumph, the show is now at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre playing Feb. 15 through 27. It stars ultra-popular American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis and Rebecca Faulkenberry, both of whom have gotten rave reviews for their powerhouse performances along with the rocking ensemble.
Before I saw the show, I talked with Rebecca and she explained that it’s “a jukebox musical.” That’s a show that puts together a lot of popular songs and builds a story around them, like Mama Mia did.
Rock of Ages has songs by ’80s rock bands like Foreigner, Styx, Poison, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister and David Lee Roth’s “Just Like Paradise.” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” seems to tell the whole story in its lyrics about a small town girl and a city boy with big dreams who meet on the boulevard.
The musical follows Drew (Maroulis), who works at a Sunset club and hopes for rock stardom. He sings “Oh Sherrie” to sweet blonde Sherrie (played by Rebecca), a small-town girl with big dreams. Rebecca is originally from Bermuda, and says she’s similar to her character.
“I’m a girl from a small island; it’s not a small town, but it’s the same feeling. I left the island to pursue my dreams.” Now Rebecca is touring starring opposite Maroulis — who was nominated for a Tony when he became a Broadway sensation in Rock of Ages.
“She comes to Hollywood hoping to be an actress. Then she gets caught up in the rock ’n’ roll scene,” Rebecca explained. “The show is packed with all the show business clichés’ you can think of. It’s not Shakespeare, but I doubt you’ll find a more entertaining show. People have a good time, and there’s a love story at its heart.”
It’s also a comedy, because it doesn’t take itself seriously. It really makes fun of the whole crazy music scene during the ’80s, which Rebecca points out “was pretty over the top. But our musical looks at it through rose colored glasses. It’s a show that will energize you and bring out your inner rock star.”
Backstage with DA on Music’s Biggest Night
Wow! It was great to see iconic rock star Mick Jagger strutting his stuff at this year’s Grammys. Plus Barbra Streisand, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, Eminem, Usher, Justin Bieber, etc., were all there with show-stopping numbers. There was something for everyone on stage, as well as backstage thanks to Distinctive Assets. Lash Fary, Distinctive Assets’ founder, produced the 53rd annual Grammy Awards’ Backstage Lounge for “music’s biggest night.”
The Grammy Gift Lounge was presented by Bench ®, which just launched its fashions in America. Bench is a British-born clothing brand that had mass appeal backstage. Also Brit-born is the hot songbird Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine. Flo rocked during the opening tribute number, along with Yolanda Adams and Martina McBride, who I also caught in the lounge checking out the Bench wear.
Back by popular demand in the lounge was Moroccanoil and their luxury hair products, a favorite of gorgeous Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. New styling products were introduced, which LeAnn Rimes and Mya loved.
Also in the lounge making the stars go “ga ga,” were Epiphone “Inspired by John Lennon” Guitars, which had Michael Chiklis playing like a rock star; others played around with DJ Hero 2 and Guitar Hero video games.
The most wonderful shoes for style and comfort were from Isola footwear; and dazzling everyone was the Glacé jewelry from Grossé of Japan, which has had a Hollywood connection since the days of Garbo; also from Japan, ReFa-PRO platinum electronic rollers by MTG, inventive message products.
R.A.T.S. Atelier men’s apparel (impressing super-cool actor-singer Donnie Wahlberg); Case-Mate launched “I Make My Case” mobile tech accessories for the Grammys; handbags from Brandina The Original were on hand; “ful” laptop messenger bags; The Body Shop’s Nutriganics Skin Care; MyPurMist soothing sinus and respiratory treatment apparatus; SOLSTICE sunglasses; Delta Private Jets gift vouchers; and Votre Vu’s SnapDragon Beauty Beverage.
Also being enjoyed was the Smirnoff People’s Challenge; Diet Pepsi; Trident’s Vitality gum; and Cold Stone Creamery Yogurt Bar. And stars turned into wild kids with the Mobo Cruiser by Asa Products Inc., sort of a “hot wheels” for adults. Herbie Hancock took a turn at peddling the bike around backstage, as did Grammy president Neil Portnow. To paraphrase Cindy Lauper, “Stars just wanna have fun.”