He Will. He Will. Rock You ♫ (Tom Cruise in "Rock of Ages")
BY NATHANIEL ROGERS
YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION
At a recent press screening in Manhattan, heavily attended by the gays, the choreographer turned So You Think You Can Dance judge turned movie director Adam Shankman cheerfully introduced the screening of his latest stage-to-screen musical ROCK OF AGES. It's his first musical since the exuberant Hairspray (2007) and he charmingly expressed his nerves and excitement about showing it off. He invited the assembled to not take the movie too seriously ("dumb fun!") and sing along with it if they felt the urge. I was sitting near the front and as Shankman bounded up the stairs to exit from the back, he shouted out 'Oh, and I'm gay!' as a "no shit" style punchline. The crowd laughed and the lights went out.
The energy of Shankman's introduction can't have hurt the screening but his invitation to sing-along proved redundant. It doesn't take long for the movie to send out its own karaoke invitation. In the jukebox musical's first number we meet a small town girl, living in a lonely world, who takes a midnight train bus going anywhere. Her name is Sherry Christian (Julianne Hough) but she's not exactly going anywhere. She's purposefully headed to Los Angeles to try to make it in the music business. No sooner has she begun singing "Sister Christian" (get it? Um… haha?) than the unnamed extras on the bus start grabbing solo lines from the verses until the whole bus is singing about Sister Christian. Her time has come!
Hough & Bonita as 'Sherry & Drew' in "Rock of Ages"
Upon her arrival in the big city, this girl from the sticks lands both a new job and a new bartender/songwriter boyfriend (Cam Gigandet) at a famous club operated by a beleaguered old pro (Cher) and her gayish sidekick (Stanley Tucci). The club is having financial trouble thanks in part to a mercenary money man (Eric Dane) and hopes that a big voice (Christina Aguilera) will resurrect its fortu---
NO WAIT -- THAT'S BURLESQUE! Sorry Sorry.
MORE, AFTER THE JUMP...