Erica Peck remembers one of the first times she heard Bohemian Rhapsody.
“I never knew it was a real song. I thought it was something they made up for Wayne’s World,” she said of the song’s inclusion on the popular 1992 movie’s soundtrack.
Of course, Bohemian Rhapsody is a real song from a real band, Queen.
Two decades later, Peck is a lot more familiar with the music of Queen. That’s because she’s starring in We Will Rock You, the worldwide smash hit “rock theatrical.”
The show will be coming to The Academy of Music, at Broad and Locust streets, from Jan. 14-19.
“I’m pumped,” Peck said in an interview last week from her home in Toronto. “I’m excited to see Philly.”
And Peck promises that audiences will be excited to see the show.
“It’s a comedy. It’s a family show. It’s got a witty, current script. It’s a concert atmosphere. And it’s Queen music,” Peck said in explaining the show’s allure.
Queen was a rock band formed in London in 1970. Freddie Mercury served as lead vocalist until his death in 1991 from complications of AIDS.
Peck has come to love the lead singer’s talents.
“You have to be in awe of Freddie Mercury,” she said.
The show features 24 of Queen’s biggest hits. Besides Bohemian Rhapsody, the hits include Another One Bites the Dust, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Are the Champions and, of course, We Will Rock You.
Peck said it is nice to look out in the crowd and see folks recognize their favorite songs.
The show was created in 2002 by British comedian and writer Ben Elton, who adds the most current pop culture references. It takes place in a future age on a planet once called Earth that is now controlled by a mighty corporation. Individuality is taboo, and rock music is unheard.
An alliance of rebel Bohemians wait for a hero to lead the battle to bring the power of rock back to the people.
Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor serve as musical supervisors, casting the singers/actors and musicians.
“They’re really great guys,” Peck said.
Peck was nominated for an award for playing Scaramouche in the original Canadian company of We Will Rock You.
In this production, she is one of seven Canadians. She plays Oz.
“Oz is brassy and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s nice to do something different. It’s kind of a big challenge, but she’s really fun to play,” she said.
Peck said one of her favorite tunes in the show is Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
“People just love that song,” she said.
The tour began in October after rehearsals a month earlier in New York. Peck and the rest of the cast are in Columbus, Ohio through Sunday, then will make their way to Philadelphia. They were in Fort Myers, Fla. through Dec. 23 before breaking for Christmas and New Year’s.
“It’s really cool to go to all these cities,” Peck said. ••
Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 14-16, 8 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Jan. 18 and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 19.
Tickets range from $20 to $105.50. Call 215-731-3333 or visit kimmelcenter.org/broadway
Discounts for groups of 20 or more are available by calling 215-790-5883.