Press-Republican

February 14, 2013

'Rock of Ages' gears up for Montreal run

By STEVEN HOWELL
Press-Republican

---- — MONTREAL — Cue the big hair and air guitar; here’s a rock ‘n’ roll love story for the ages.

Theatre St. Denis presents the Broadway smash-hit musical “Rock of Ages” for an eight-performance run beginning Tuesday, Feb. 26. The show follows the tale of rock-star wannabe/big-city boy Drew and small-town girl Sherrie in pursuit of their dreams in Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, circa the late 1980s. The musical includes 28 iconic ‘80s rock-era anthems, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Every Rose Has its Thorn,” “I Wanna Know What Love is,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “We’re Not Gonna Take it.”

“‘Rock of Ages’ is about a young guy who pursues his dreams of becoming a rock star,” said Dominique Scott, who plays the lead character, Drew. “But he’s limited by his insecurities. He’s a bit shy, he’s lonely. But inside, he’s a true rock star.”

Along his ride to stardom, Drew meets Sherrie. But things don’t always go as planned.

“By the end of the show, we see Drew eventually grow into the man he was supposed to be,” Scott said. “But he needs to choose: rock star or the girl?”

Scott said the main premise of the show is to “keep on pursuing your dreams, whatever they may be.”

“And if they change, that’s OK, too,” he said.

Scott was born in 1988, and said he didn’t need too much of a musical learning curve when it came to the songs in the show. Scott’s father was a rock star in his own right as the lead guitarist during the 1970s and ‘80s in a European-based band called Hollow Spirit, which toured Germany, England and France and sold out 10,000-seat venues.

“My dad literally lived that lifestyle during his 20s,” Scott said.

Scott said he enjoyed a well-rounded mix of musical influences, including the Beatles, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Foreigner and Journey.

“So when I got the show, the music — the ‘70s and ‘80s rock — fit like a glove.”

For the role, Scott embraced not only the sound of the era, but the look as well.

“There’s A LOT of hair,” he quipped. 

Scott said a fellow character’s hair piece raises “literally 4 feet off his head.”

‘It’s some really big hair on stage.”

Except for two members, the entire cast of 17 wears wigs, he said.

How Scott got the show is its own unique show-business story.

Scott was living in New York City, performing with his own band, Domin8trx, as well as waiting tables. He, along with some 500 others, auditioned for the role of Drew for the performance’s pending national tour.

“I auditioned, and I’ll never forget it — they just let me go. They didn’t ask me to stay or sing again or read. They just said, ‘Thank you, bye.’” 

Needless to say, Scott was disappointed and upset.

“Because I felt so strongly about the role,” he said.

The initial audition result empowered Scott even more. Scott then made an audition video, which showed him singing all of the songs in the show. He sent the finished video to the casting director. Scott received an email a few weeks later.

“I auditioned again for the creative team and got the show,” he said.

And Scott’s been living the rock-star lifestyle ever since. He been touring since October of 2011 and has traveled throughout North America.

“It’s been so worth it,” he said.

If you do make it to the show, Scott has a few suggestions:

“It’s a rock concert, so feel free to get up, sing, dance, throw things …” 

Wait. What? Throw things?

Yes, as in lingerie. It has happened, Scott said. 

As well, some audience members attend, wearing their finest ‘80s-inspired attire.

“We have the best, craziest audiences,” Scott said. “So have as much fun as you can.”

Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at iTunes.com.

IF YOU GO WHAT: "Rock of Ages." WHEN: Various showtimes Tuesday, Feb. 26, through Sunday, March 3. WHERE: Theatre St. Denis is at 1594 St Denis St. in the Latin Quarter (Metro Berri-UQAM), Montreal. ADMISSION: Ticket prices range from $62.75 to $92.75, depending on the day and time of performance. CONTACT: Call the Ticket Pro box office at (514) 790-1111, or visit www.theatrestdenis.com. For more information on Dominique Scott and his band, visit www.domscott.com.