Adam Shankman has bucked the trend with is run of hit muscial films, In a time when studios cast a galeful eye on the genre,
he had a hit with HAIRSPRAY, as well as making his mark in television’s home-grown musical, “Glee”. When I spoke to him on May 30, 2012, he talked about opening up the stage play on which the film is based, recreating a dreamscape of the Sunset Strip as it was int he 1980s, and choreographing non-dancers, both in ROCK OF AGES, and in the muscial episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. aka “Once More with Feeling”.
ROCK OF AGES is a fable about finding fame, fortune, and true love told through jukebox hits from the late 70s and early 80s. In it, sweet and innocent Sister Christian arrives in Hollywood from the mid-west to become a rock star only to have her suitcase stolen and to meet her true love all in the first ten minutes. True to the classic boy-meets-girl musical, the fall in love, have a misunderstanding, and eventually find their way back to each other against a backdrop of splashily choreographed musical numbers, and not one, but TWO trips to the iconic Hollywood sign. The film stars Julianne Hough as the ingénue, Diego Boneta her one and only, Alec Baldwin as the owner of the club where they both work, Russell Brand as his devoted tech guy, Catharine Zeta Jones as the mayor’s wife out to wipe out rock and roll, Bryan Cranston as her feckless husband, Mary J. Blige as the sympathetic strip club owner, Paul Giamatti as the evil music manager, Malin Ackerman as a rock journalist unafraid to tell the truth, and Tom Cruise as the rock god that mixes everything up, even when not wearing a jewel-encrusted and highly evocative codpiece. Shankman directed from a script by Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo, and Allan Loeb. Shankman’s previous work includes being a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson, producing “Prop 8 — The Musical,“ directing the film version of HAIRSPRAY, as well as the “Rocky Horror Glee Show” for television’s Glee.