‘We Will Rock You’ production to feature Lethbridge’s Kyle Gruninger
SHOW SET FOR JAN. 19 AT ENMAX CENTRE
“I have iron vocal chords.” And now Kyle Gruninger, a Lethbridge performer who honed his craft with New West Theatre, truly appreciates all those endurance and voice maintenance lessons.
He’s part of an all-Canadian cast that’s midway through its high-energy “We Will Rock You” tour of North America — including a Jan. 19 stop here at the Enmax Centre.
“The shows have been selling very, very well,” he reports from Kamloops, en route to more concerts on the West Coast.
Almost everybody is on their feet by show’s end, moved by the magic of legendary Queen.
Since September, he adds, the cast of 16 played more than 70 concerts across the U.S., from Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas to major venues in California. “It was quite wild,” he admits. There’s typically eight concerts each week, Gruninger explains, with one day off.
But like hockey players, the cast and crew put in many travel days as well.
“We have three tour buses and two semi trucks” to carry all the gear. And they’ll be working their way east over the winter, with performance dates right across Canada.
“After Alberta, we’ll probably have 30 to 40 shows left.”
A veteran of a many gigs as a cruise ship entertainer, Gruninger is accustomed to the night-after-night routine. Becoming part of a road show is something else again.
“I flew right from the ship in Florida to audition in Calgary,” when he heard about the casting call last year, he says. A longtime fan of the English rock group’s music, Gruninger couldn’t pass up an opportunity to actually perform it for audiences across North America.
In “We Will Rock You,” he points out, there’s more than the music.
The show’s Canadian creators put together “a quirky, eccentric and heartfelt story of outsiders,” its promoters say. “It’s also a creative cautionary tale for the cyber age.”
Gruninger says his role in the story involves defeating the Bohemians, who want to destroy every musical instrument.
That’s a different story than the focus of the Oscar-winning movie
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” but the success of both productions illustrates the lasting, crossgenerational popularity of Queen’s many hits.
For Gruninger and millions more, the spectacle of Queen’s live performances lives on.
Tickets for the Lethbridge show are available from the Ticket Centre at the Enmax.
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