A mild-mannered high school English teacher by day, Kevin Doe’s nighttime alter-ego is none other than — what else? — a rock star.
The Toronto native landed a part earlier this year in the North American production of We Will Rock You, featuring the music of Queen; a production seen in one form or another by audiences around the world for over a decade.
After 75 shows in over 50 cities in the U.S., the production is on a Canadian swing with a scheduled stop at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Jan. 3.
“I’ve never done a tour like this before. We’ve seen a lot of America — I’m very familiar with grits now — and we’ve seen a lot of different audiences but we leave every show beaming from ear to ear,” said Doe. “It’s pretty empowering to see a cross-generational audience enjoy this music and enjoy the show, dancing and singing along with us.
“Especially when you have kids that are six or seven dancing and grandparents with walkers or in wheelchairs on the floor as well.”
He recalled hearing his students “freaked out” when they read in the Toronto Star about their teacher’s role in the production.
Doe plays the part of Buddy, based loosely on legendary rock and roller Buddy Holly, who spends much of his time trying to figure out exactly when it was the music died.
“We’re in a post-apocalyptic world and he (Buddy) is the leader of the Bohemians. He meets the two main characters, Galileo and Scaramouche, and he helps lead them to their final destinations of making music come back to this fictional world,” said Doe. “It’s quite relevant to today’s society and how youth and young people are stepping up and trying to make a better world for themselves and others. I think it’s a relevant message to what’s happening in our world today.”
Doe called it an interesting show and a funny concept, especially as his character is the comic relief.
“I’ve got the best job on stage I think,” said Doe.
Getting the part came at a critical point in his working life, having had his full-time teaching contract cut in half just shortly before.
“I made the decision to tour the world and come back to teaching when things have kind of settled down here,” said Doe, who, along with his parents, is a Queen fan. “Getting the news that I’d been chosen, it was overwhelming, it was exciting. I had a large-scale contract, I had an exciting reason to work.”
He admits the schedule can be gruelling at times, recalling one time in the U.S., when the all-Canadian troupe did eights shows in eight cities in eight days.
“We usually get to the city at seven in the morning in our very cool rock star buses and have a little bit of time to explore and see what the vibe is and do the show and get back on the buses at three in the morning. But it’s a lot of fun,” said Doe. “We’re (the cast) close alright. I can probably give you the coffee orders of every one of my cast.”
And about what Penticton residents can expect to see when We Will Rock You comes to town, he said: “They are going to see a rock show, they’re going to see a comedy show. I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised, we’re not doing just a concert, it’s a full show, very cool costumes and the set is incredible.”
Tickets for the show are available in person at the Valley First Box Office at the SOEC, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 or online at www.ValleyFirstTix.com
Mark Brett | Reporter
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