Sunday, April 8, 2012

Reel Thoughts: Interview with a Cheerio!

Whether you love your Sisters “Twisted” or “Christian,” Phoenix native Wesley Faucher knows that you will love the Broadway show Rock of Ages, now on tour. Filled with the music of Journey, Whitesnake, Pat Benatar and Foreigner, Rock of Ages will definitely take you back to the time of huge haired rock music.

“The show is very, very high energy,” she explained. “If you lived in the 80’s or know any of the rock music from the 80’s, it’s just one big hair-tossing, head-banging energetic show. It’s about this girl who comes to LA to make it big and she finds love along the way. She loses the guy and then gets him back eventually.”

Rock of Ages takes place in 1987 on the famed Sunset Strip, where aspiring rock star Drew works as a busboy at the fictional Bourbon Room. He meets and falls instantly in love with Kansas girl Sherrie Christian who just came to town. He serenades her with "Sister Christian" before scoring her a job at the bar, unaware that greedy German developers are planning to tear the whole Strip down and make it family-friendly. Debauched rock god Stacee Jaxx (the part Tom Cruise will play in the upcoming movie) comes to the Bourbon Room to give one final concert before the band breaks up. Sherrie and Drew’s romance is rocky to say the least, but the slimy Jaxx might doom it for good. Despite the efforts of Regina, a City Councilwoman, the Strip’s “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll” history looks like it will be gone forever. It is nothing that a rock anthem like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” can’t fix.


Faucher wasn’t even born when Rock of Ages takes place, so he had to bone up on her 80’s big hair and heavy metal. “And I had just chopped off my hair last year, so going from no hair to this huge wig that I have to head-bang and go crazy in while I have a mic on my head under the wig was a lot to learn, but as soon as I put that wig on, I knew exactly what era I was in and I love it! Doing the show, my favorite song is “Nothing But a Good Time”, because it is exactly what the show is: it’s one big party onstage. It gets the audience energized right off the bat.”

In June, the big screen version of Rock of Ages hits theaters, but Faucher hasn’t seen it yet. “My boyfriend actually went to a big screening of it in LA and I have heard that it’s very different from our show. I think it does stay true to is the 80’s music and era, and with headliners like Tom Cruise, I think it will really bring in a good audience and it will help our show.”


Faucher spent time in Los Angeles concentrating on dance, when she got a role on Glee as one of the Cheerios in the first season. “I got to do two episodes, but then they said there was a height requirement, so I didn’t get to do as many episodes as I would have liked. It was amazing; you go in one day and you have to learn the entire routine all in one rehearsal. It was the first season, so everyone on set was really sweet and it was a great experience.” Working for Sue Sylvester was not as grueling as the show makes it look. “I actually got to ride back from the set with Jane Lynch. Everyone in the cast is great, but she is the humblest, sweetest, nicest person in the cast. She was just as amazing as you would think she is.”

Rock of Ages has been mostly playing the East Coast, so Faucher is relieved and excited to get back to the Southwest and see friends and family. “I had to learn East Coast weather real quick,” she said, laughing. As the daughter of a dance studio owner, what does Faucher think of Dance Moms on Lifetime? “I am so glad you asked that question! I’m obsessed with it! I think it is the funniest show, because I grew up going to competitions and I would see these crazy people all the time. I would always tell my mom, “You should make a reality TV show about these people,” because it is pure entertainment. As soon as Dance Moms came on, I’d ask her every week if she was watching it. She said, 'Wesley, as a studio owner, I can’t watch this kind of stuff. I deal with it every day.' My parents can’t stand it, but I think it’s hilarious.”

Interview by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.

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