MODESTO -- Get ready for big hair, loud guitars and leather pants. The national tour of the Broadway show "Rock of Ages" is bringing the best in 1980s rock to the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto.
The 2009 Tony Award-nominated show centers on a small-town girl and a big-city rocker who fall in love in 1987 on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. The show features the music of Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and others. Songs include "Don't Stop Believin'," "We Built This City," "The Final Countdown," "Wanted Dead or Alive," "Here I Go Again," "Can't Fight this Feelin'."
Earlier this year, a movie version of the story, starring Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin, was released. Florida native Dominique Scott, who plays big-city rocker Drew in the touring show, recently answered some questions about the stage show in an email interview:
Q: How does the Broadway show compare to the film? Is the movie helping draw attendance to the shows?
A: It doesn't (compare). They're both really different things. Although they share a similar plot, characters, and songs -- just about EVERYTHING else is different. They're incomparably different experiences. Like the difference between seeing Bon Jovi concert live and seeing a documentary about Bon Jovi. They're both great, but totally different. Is the movie helping draw attendance? Not sure.
Q: How did you like the film?
A: I enjoyed it. Thought Tom Cruise was wonderful.
Q: What are the most popular songs in the show? Why do you think audiences particularly love those songs?
A: Every song in the show gets a huge response from the audience. It happens because they recognize them. As soon as they hear the opening riff to "Don't Stop Believin'," or when (the character) Lonny sings the first line of "I can't fight this feeling" ... . The songs conjure up feelings and memories for people of what those songs meant to them growing up. Nostalgia is very powerful. We love hearing songs we know and feel a part of it ... especially when we hear these songs in a new way.
Q: What's the most fun part about doing the show?
A: Getting to sing some of the best songs in the classic-rock canon for thousands of screaming people every night.
Q: What's the most difficult part about doing the show?
A: Having to sing some of the best songs in the classic-rock canon for thousands of screaming people every night (eight times a week).
Rock of Ages
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sept. 21, 2 and 8 p.m. Sept. 22 and 2 and 7 p.m. Sept. 23
WHERE: Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
TICKETS: $39-$99 (Adult content; may not be suitable for children younger than 13)
CALL: (209) 338-2100