The Future of Queen

If you saw the Rock of Ages musical at the GFL Memorial Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie last year, you will not want to miss this one. They both have similarities in regards to the energy, live rock music, band, and script line of good vs evil per se.

We Will Rock You and its’ touring musicians and actors are coming our way and will stop and perform for you this month on Wednesday January 29. Since 2002, the show has entertained over 16 000 000 people in 19 countries. The show is based on the songs of Queen and was written by Ben Elton.

This show in case you are wondering is not about the history of Queen, but about a society where Big Brother is in charge; kind of like George Orwell’s 1984. The production and its’ plot circle around rebellion and fight where the Bohemians fight for  freedom and expression against the main antagonist… the KiLLeR QuEEN. The K.Q. is CEO of the monopolistic and all powerful GlobalSoft company who restricts the ownership and possession of musical instruments and expression of individual thought.

Two of the main characters are Scaramouche (Keri Kelly) and Galileo (Trevor Coll) who swim upstream to break the chains of tyranny.

Trevor Coll as Galileo and Keri Kelly as Scaramouche.

Trevor Coll hails from Aurora, Ontario; and we spoke about the upcoming show. I first asked him if anyone in the Queen band has ever attended one of his the shows as this lineup has toured both the United States and Canada. Trevor could not confirm whether or not anyone from the band had seen the show, but he did say: “…but on our opening night show in Winnipeg, we did receive a nice video message from Brian May himself wishing us the best and hoping to come and see us at some point.”

I also asked him about the musicians in the band and whether they were studio musicians, actor/musicians or hired guns, etc. I relayed to him that when I did in fact see the Rock of Ages show last year, I was very impressed with the sound and professional musicianship of the live band. He responded:

“Yeah, they are studio musicians and they have all toured before as musicians… I feel so honored being on stage with them I mean the sound of the guitar, the bass, the drums and the keys in this show, really brings the show to the next level. They are not your typical orchestra pit musicians, they are right on stage with us, and it’s pretty cool.”

He says that the actors/vocalists sort of have their own stage area where they perform from in the show, and there is an area where the band plays on an elevated stage. Additionally, “as much as they are a part of our world, they have their own as well.”

The show is also very thorough and detailed in regards to the music catalog of Queen. I had read that they perform 24 Queen songs during the show, so I asked him if they did parts of the songs or the whole song.

“We really do all of those songs and it’s really exciting. It’s definitely a vocal challenge for sure, but they are spread throughout the entire cast. There are seven principle characters, as well as our ensemble which altogether now is seventeen people. Queen songs are some of the most gratifying to sing, and people always ask me if I’m getting bored of it; and honestly, I love it more and more, and when I’m not on stage I find myself singing and dancing to it.”

Trevor, a fellow Ontarian tells me that the whole cast is in fact Canadian. “it’s a really unique experience to be part of something that is a fully Canadian production and I think that we’re doing it right.”

He also says that it is really a great and rewarding experience when the cast-members or anyone involved with the touring production get to play their home town with their friends and family in attendance.

I asked Trevor about the reception of the show on his journey with the production:

“Everywhere we go, whether it’s Los Angeles, Vancouver or anywhere, we’ve had such an amazing ride in bringing it to places large and small in North America… every single audience has responded in such a special way filled with energy and euphoria. Every show is really really special.”

The show is only about two weeks away and Trevor and the cast are looking forward to stopping in the Soo to perform for you. On the way, you may see them at the local Tim Horton’s in Wawa, as their tour bus drivers may need some caffeinated fuel to ensure their safe arrival in Sault Ste. Marie.

Trevor hopes you can make it to the show and leaves us with these harmonic words. “It’s not everyday that you can say Queen’s music is coming to your town; it’s a great experience for us and them too, and right now with the heart of winter, it’s totally a good way to get out of the cold for a night and to totally destress from shoveling the driveway. I ‘m really looking forward to coming to the Soo and I hope you guys really rock on there at the show… and keep warm”

Ernest Skinner