Actor-singer Andrew Tebo never thought he’d go into theatre, let alone end up having an impressive resume of Broadway shows. He attended a high school that encouraged sports, glee club, academics and theatre. Since he always loved talking and being in front of people, he studied public relations at university where one day he auditioned for a part in the musical Guys and Dolls.
Tebo got the part and has never looked back.
Tebo is a member of the ensemble cast of the 10th anniversary North American touring production of the smash hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages — and he’s loving every minute of it. Even though Tebo is playing a villain in this show, there’s some redemption, fun and rocking music that’s guaranteed to melt your face off.
Curtains Up: Hello Andrew, I wanted to congratulate you on being a part of the 10th anniversary of Rock of Ages.
Andrew Tebo: Thank you. Yes, it’s the 10th anniversary of Rock of Ages, but it’s still the same show that everyone loves and it has some new iconic messages that are really wonderful. It’s a good time and we’re having a lot of fun.
What’s extra special about this anniversary tour?
AT: The original show was in a fixed set in the Bourbon Room. In our show, they went with this whole cathedral of rock. A rock temple basically. It’s like something you’d see in an ’80s rock show with two-tiered platforms for a set and 1500 lighting cues. We have over 200 moving lights. It’s spectacular. It also has one of the most talented group of people I’ve ever worked with. Katie Lamark who plays Sherrie and Anthony Nuccio as Drew are just dynamite. All together we can’t wait to get up to Canada.
Have you ever seen the original show or any of the touring productions before being involved with it yourself?
AT: Oh yeah, I saw the original show several times. It’s one of my favourites. I think it’s one of the best jukebox shows there can be because what they’ve done is spliced up all these songs with amazing choruses, into one number. It’s pretty cool.
So what about your character in this show?
AT: I play Hertz. He’s the villain of the show. He’s the German developer who’s coming to LA to tear down small business and build up big high rises. I’m the antagonist who causes all the drama. I also have an amazing partner in all this, my son Franz. I think we have a really cool story throughout learning how to love each other and accept each other for who we are. Franz is played by Chris Renalds and we just have a blast every night in all of our scenes.
This show is centred around the music from the ’80s. Do you like this music yourself? Who were some of your favourite bands growing up?
AT: Oh yeah for sure I like that music. My favourite is Reo Speedwagon. I love them. It’s just that’s there are so many iconic artists featured in this musical. Everyone who has their favourite song well they’re going to hear it. They’re gonna come and tap their feet, sing and relive the ’80s with us.
This is not even your first rock n roll show. You also did Schoolhouse Rock.
AT: Yes, I did. I also recently did the production of Mamma Mia which was up in Montreal about a year and a half ago. It was different but it was still an incredible show to travel around in as well.
What was it that you liked about our city the most?
AT: You know what? I ate some amazing food while I was there. We went to Chinatown and had some authentic Chinese food. We usually live day by day so we eat locally and get local cups of coffee, pastries and a meal before the show. I just remember the food being incredible in Montreal.
With all the shows you’ve been in is there a favourite or highlight for you?
AT: I’ve been on the road for seven years and they all have a special place in my heart. I have to say that this production for Rock of Ages there’s something about the artists that have been selected where we go out there every night and give 110%. This production really has a special place in my heart.
Is there any show that you haven’t done yet that you would love to do?
AT: You know? I’d really love to do Les Miserables in any capacity. I’ve never had the opportunity to audition for it but I’d love to add it to my resume one day. Jean Valjean is a dream role for me. I hope it comes soon.
Andrew, you are stranded on a desert island. What would be your top three desert island discs?
AT: My top three?! Oh man! Okay, I would bring a Four Seasons record. I grew up with my mother playing Four Seasons records all the time. I would bring something from The Barenaked Ladies. I love them. For a third one… I’d probably bring Lianne Lahavas. I’m listening to a lot of her these days. It’s a little poppy but there’s some jazz and funk in there too. She plays lead guitar on all her songs. It’s really soulful.
What would you like to say to the fans coming out to the show here in Montreal?
AT: We hope the people in Montreal are ready to sing with us. So far every night we have people singing, dancing, and laughing with us. They are going nuts. Every night the audience is another character to interact with us. That’s what we want. It’s the freedom of this show. We want you to relive the ’80s with us. Tell the people of Montreal to get ready to have a great time because we’re going to bring some powerhouse vocals to them and melt their faces off.
Rock of Ages headlines Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts on March 22. For tickets, visit evenko.ca.