Theater review: 'Rock of Ages' star makes everyone a believer

For the News-DemocratMay 23, 2013 

Like the rocker-wannabe he portrays in "Rock of Ages," Dominique "Dom" Scott dreams big. And that is why he's returning to the Fox about 15 months after his first appearance as Drew.

The smash-hit Broadway musical celebrates '80s hair, classic rock hits, and the dreams of small-town kids coming to the big city to find fame and fortune. It is such an entertaining crowd-pleaser -- "Nothing But a Good Time" -- that audiences keep coming back, whether they were headbangers or not.

"It's so much fun," Scott said. Feeding off the audience's energy is one reason both he and leading lady Shannon Mullen ("Sherrie") are in their second go-round as the young couple who do not stop believing.

"This is a fun, loud show, but it has a poignant love story at the heart of it," he said. They're in on the joke, too -- they know it's silly and over-the-top, but that self-awareness is what sets it apart.

Another reason Scott is happy about coming back to the Fox -- he was sick during the February 2012 run, and wants to show people what he's capable of when he's 100 percent.

While Scott has the look, swagger and booming voice of a rock star on stage, he is totally devoid of any preening or pretensions in real life. He is, however, as passionate about music as the character he fits like a glove.

During a phone interview, he talked about his band Domin8trix and their debut CD, "Carousel," of which he is very proud. A blend of soul, blues and rock, the original songs reflect an intense drive and two years' hard work. The CD is available at the merchandise table at the show and at iTunes.

The Miami native also recounted his upbringing by a musician dad who got him hooked on Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and other bands during his youth. In the '70s and '80s, Scott's father was in Hollow Spirit. They began in their native France, then moved to South Florida. and his dad met Dom's mother in the states.

Music has always been a big part of his life. Classically trained, Dom Scott majored in musical theater and minored in jazz piano in college. The "Rock of Ages" national tour was his big break, and that's because he persisted in going after the role he believed he was born to play. "I thought 'This is me!'" he said.

For the open audition, he showed up at 8 a.m., along with 300 other guys. After singing, and being cut, Scott was upset. Believing that he could rock Drew, he made a videotape of him singing two songs from the show, and sent it to the casting director. A couple of weeks later, he received an email requesting his presence on the final day of callbacks. He began in a group of 20, which was whittled down to 12, and then 2, and the rest is history.

"I would not take no for an answer," he said.

With 60 theatrical productions under his belt, beginning at an early age, he learned how to push his voice, and then let it rest. That's the secret to maintaining the demanding vocals -- belting out "Here I Go Again," "Waiting," "High Enough" and the iconic anthem "Don't Stop Believin'," which brings the crowd to its feet

Seeing how much the audience gets into the show -- the singing along, the smiles, the laughs -- boosts the cast's energy level, too.

"They have such a great time. We feed off the audience. We have a good time with them. We find ways to draw them in, interact. That's what makes this show so special," he said.

He noted that nothing can recreate the connection that live theater has between performer and audience, which is preferable to the movie version, which did not adequately capture the 2009 show that received five Tony nominations, and has been embraced in dozens of countries for its good vibrations.

Scott also likes being accessible to his fans -- interacting with them through social media or at the shows.

"I'm on Facebook, Twitter. You can go to my website, www.DomScott.com, for more info on the CD." You just might find him signing CDs after the show.

"We have met a lot of great fans," he said.

What: "Rock of Ages" at the Fabulous Fox, 527 N. Grand, St. Louis, MO 63103

When: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets: $30-$80 at Metrotix 314-534-1111 or 800-293-4959, or Fox Box Office

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