WILKES-BARRE — Dave Giordano, 37, is an acting veteran, but musical theater is fairly new to him.
The Exeter native will get a chance to spread his wings when he takes part in the Broadway rendition of “Rock of Ages” at the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre.
“This is my third or fourth musical and my first was not too long ago in ‘Young Frankenstein,’” he said. “It’s still new to me. I can’t read music and I learn through repetition. I’m singing in kind of a bass vocal range but I’m a tenor, my voice even still tends to drift off.”
Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Fridays, Sept. 9, 16 and 23; Saturdays, Sept. 10, 17, 24; and at 3 p.m. Sundays Sept. 11, 18 and 25.
According to a press release, “Rock of Ages” is a part musical/part rock n’ roll concert that takes audience members back to 1980s Hollywood, where hair spray and Spandex ruled.
The audience will meet Sherrie, a small-town girl turned stripper who hopes to make it big, and Drew, a city boy who plans on being a rock star. At the same time, the audience will watch as protesters fight to keep German developers from turning their beloved Bourbon Room and Sunset Strip into a strip mall.
Songs included in the show will be from the bands Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benetar, Whitesnake, Poison, and REO Speedwagon, to name a few.
Giordano is playing two roles in the show as The Mayor and Ja’Keith Gill, who are both villains.
“The Mayor is kind of a comical funny character and I believe I do comedy well, and Ja’Keith you can play straight forward,” he said. “Since I do play multiple characters you want to have different reflections with how your voice changes. I want to hammer it down by having an accent or a different voice for each character.”
Rehearsals for the “Rock of Ages” have been going on since June, and show director, Tom Franko of Shavertown, said the cast has been taking conditioning classes to prepare for all of the dancing.
He also said the unique thing about the cast is it’s a mixture of younger and older people from all over Luzerne County.
“It’s a mix of old and new, but we have guys from Greater Pittston, Back Mountain, Wilkes-Barre, Larksville and all over the place,” Franko said. “We have a mix of veterans who are in their umpteenth year with the theatre and some stepping into the building for the first time. It’s great to see some fresh faces who are really talented; they’re doing a great job.”
Giordano has been performing at the Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre for five years, acting in shows such as “Young Frankenstein,” “The Graduate,” “Hamlet,” and more.
Giordano said he is beginning to enjoy musical theatre and wants to do more in the future.
“I’m warming up to musicals, but if a straight acting show comes around I’m all over that,” he said. “I can make an investment in myself to get music lessons and learn to read music, but I’m at a point right now where I’m an actor who sings. You’ll see that come out on stage and that I have my roots in acting.”
With opening night a few nights away, Giordano is excited for the energy of the crowd. With so many shows, he wants to do his best not to give different audiences the same act.
“We’re doing nine shows and the things you do in that first weekend, hopefully those songs are just as strong in the later weeks, but things change,” he said. “The second or third week with different audiences, I might try something new as The Mayor. That’s what I love about theatre, because things are always changing.”