Northeast Times

Erica Peck will rock you, Philly

  • We Will Rock You will run from Jan. 14-19 from The Academy of Music at Broad and Locust streets.

  • Erica Peck (right) is the star of We Will Rock You.

  • Erica Peck is the star of We Will Rock You.

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.

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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