The Vip Lounge | John-Michael Breen

The VIP Lounge with John-Michael Breen

John-Michael Breen
John-Michael Breen

For John-Michael Breen, anywhere near an ocean is his kind of vacation destination. While he was growing up in Chelmsford, his family vacationed on Cape Cod, where going to the beach was always a treat. Breen, 26, who now lives in Brooklyn, will be back in the area for a weeklong run (Oct. 23-28) in “Rock of Ages” at the Boch Center Wang Theatre. Breen plays Lonny Barnett, the narrator who works at the Bourbon Room, where much of the action in this jukebox musical — built around classic rock songs from the 1980s — takes place. Performing in Boston is “kind of like coming full circle,” Breen said. “I remember going to the Wang and other theaters in Boston when I was as young as 4 or 5. I would sit totally still and totally enraptured.” He got involved in school and youth regional theater — “Chelmsford had the most amazing performing arts program,” he said — and has worked in regional theater around the country. This is his first national tour. “I know this is going to be a cliché, but ‘Rock of Ages’ is going to knock people’s socks off,” he said. “We pull from an entire genre of music — hits of the ’80s — with incredible arrangements and a killer band.” We caught up with Breen to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? My favorite vacation destination is anywhere by the ocean. I grew up spending time on the coasts of New England, so the beach will forever feel like home to me.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I love to try local whiskey distilleries or craft breweries. A Manhattan made with local bourbon or rye is heaven.


Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? My family hails from Italy and Sicily on one side, and Ireland on the other. I received more of the Irish genes, so I’ve always longed to vacation there.

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One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? My wireless headphones and Spotify.

Aisle or window? Aisle, for that extra leg room.

Favorite childhood travel memory? It would probably be driving to the airport in a limo with my family on my first trip to Disney World when I was 6. I honestly thought life couldn’t get better than that.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? Bringing far too many books.


Best travel tip? Always pack an extra change of clothes in your carry-on.