The Canadian premiere of the still-running hit 2002 London musical (set in the future during a time when music is banned) will be March 14, 2007, at Toronto's Canon Theatre. Opening night is April 10.
The Canadian production's cast will be culled from over 2,000 performers who auditioned from coast-to-coast. Open-call sessions were held in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Director Ben Elton stated, "This has been one of the most satisfying castings that I have been a part of. The young, fresh, new Canadian talent that I have seen during the auditions has just sparkled and we have assembled a truly electrifying, all-Canadian company."
Set 300 years in the future, in a time when live music is banned on earth, We Will Rock You, according to the producers, "is about the kids who are in rebellion, fighting against the all-powerful Globalsoft Corporation that controls their lives and feeds them a diet of synthesized pop. A hero is needed who can help them rediscover themselves and live music. Could the arrival of the young Galileo be that hero? Can he help them 'break free' of their chains?"
Yvan Pedneault will be the young Canadian Galileo, "the dreamer" who takes on the mighty Globalsoft Corporation on his quest to re-ignite the power of live rock and roll. Pedneault hails from Sept-Îles, Quebec and has caused a sensation in Montreal where he has played starring roles in the French-language productions of Rent (The Olympia), Beauty and the Beast (Salle Jean-Marc Dion) and A Chorus Line (Chapelle du Bon Pasteur). The role of Scaramouche, the person who eggs Galileo on to become a hero, will be played by Erica Peck, only midway through her studies in the theatre program at Sheridan College. She was plucked from a Toronto open casting call.
Alana Bridgewater, a vocalist and actor with an impressive list of jazz and theatre credits, will perform the larger-than-life role of Killer Queen, the cold-hearted boss of Globalsoft. Her recent credits include In a Jam (CBC Television), Little Shop of Horrors (St. Lawrence Stage Company), Womens' Blues Revue in Toronto and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Stage West). She is currently starring in Menopause Outloud at the Capital Event Theater.
Evan Buliung, an acclaimed actor in both classical and musical theatre, will play silver-tongued, Armani-suited Khashoggi, the Killer Queen's henchman. Most recently, he starred as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings in Toronto. He is a veteran of the Stratford and Shaw festivals. He is the recipient of the Jean Chalmers Award and Tyrone Guthrie Award.
The remainder of the 30-member, all-Canadian cast of We Will Rock You will be announced just prior to rehearsals beginning in Toronto in late January 2007.
With Brian May and Roger Taylor as music supervisors, We Will Rock You is written and directed by Ben Elton (The Beautiful Game and Popcorn) and features 32 of Queen's greatest hits. Mark Fisher, production designer, and Willie Williams, lighting designer, have created set designs for Pink Floyd, Janet Jackson, The Rolling Stones and U2. Tim Goodchild is costume designer and Arlene Phillips (Starlight Express, Grease and Saturday Night Fever) is choreographer. Bobby Aitken (The Boyfriend, The Fix, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Grease and Mamma Mia!) is sound designer.
We Will Rock You is produced by David and Ed Mirvish and The Kimsa Group, in association with Queen Theatrical Productions, Phil McIntyre Entertainment and Tribeca Theatrical Productions. It's billed as reflecting "the scale and spectacle that marked Queen's live performances and earned the band its pinnacle position in rock history."
The show is now in its fifth year in London, has had productions in Australia, Spain, Russia and South Africa and is currently playing in London, Switzerland, Germany and Japan.
In the new year, We Will Rock You reopens in Spain. Globally, an audience of more than five million has seen the show.
For more information, visit www.mirvish.com or www.wewillrockyou.ca.