It’s time to crimp your hair and don your acid washed jeans — “Rock of Ages” is coming to Phoenix on April 12. Featuring the music of Bon Jovi, Styx, Poison and more, cast member Wesley Faucher promises you’ll be dancing in the aisles before the curtain comes down.
“By the end of the show, the entire audience is on their feet,” Faucher said. “Whether people grew up with the ’80s rock music and they liked it or they didn’t like it, by the time it gets to the last song, which is ‘Don’t Stop Believin,’ everyone’s always on their feet because I don’t know a single person that doesn’t like that song.”
“Rock of Ages” is a jukebox musical that follows a small-town girl who falls in love with an aspiring rock star in late-1980s Los Angeles. The show was nominated for a slew of Tony Awards including Best Musical, and currently has productions both on Broadway and in the West End. Although it features outrageous costumes and colorful characters, Faucher says the ’80s tunes are what give the show its heart.
“It’s all about the music,” Faucher said. “Our show has a great storyline that you’re connected to and you get connected with all the characters, but it’s the music that really drives the show. It’s all ’80s rock music, so it’s everything that you’ve heard and grew up with in the ’80s. It’s so loud and fun with a live rock band, and you just feel like you’re apart of it.”
Faucher is a Phoenix native herself and began dancing at the age of 3 at her mother’s dance studio. She first auditioned for the show last year and began touring in October, which has provided Faucher with the opportunity to see many parts of the country she otherwise may not have seen. Besides the challenge of eating gluten-free while on tour, she faces many other physical challenges as part of the ensemble.
“The ensemble that I’m a part of has to be singing and dancing throughout the entire show, which is really, really difficult in itself,” Faucher said. “Because it’s an ’80s show and it’s a rock show, there’s a lot of head banging. Most everybody has had neck or back problems at some point during the tour, so that’s just one of the challenges of doing an ’80s show and having to head bang every single day.”
“Rock of Ages” was recently developed into a feature film starring Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and is set to hit movie theaters this June. While she knows it will be an exciting and fresh adaption, Faucher encourages audiences to come see the live stage show, too.
“Everyone should go see the show before they see the movie, because if they’re expecting to see the movie then go see the stage show, they’re two completely different things,” Faucher said. “Whether they like theater or not, or like ’80s music or not, people come and always have a good time. It’s the most fun you’ll have at a musical, ever.”
“Rock of Ages” is playing April 12-15 at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St. in downtown Phoenix.
Patrick Ryan is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a sophomore at Arizona State University.