The Queen-inspired rock musical We Will Rock Youmakes its New York City debut this November, and this cast is going to blow the roof off the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden. Jam-packed with 24 beloved Queen songs, the show stars Trevor Coll and Keri Kelly as Galileo and Scaramouche, two futurist outcasts who rebel against the tyrannical government through rock. Trevor & Keri have been a part of We Will Rock You’s North American tour since its launch, and lead the limited New York run from November 14-17.
BroadwayBox caught up with the dynamic duo to talk about their own history with Queen’s music, life on tour, and maintaining vocal health while singing these insane songs.
How did We Will Rock You first appear on your radar? What did you sing for your audition?
I first saw We Will Rock You in Toronto when I was in high school, bought the soundtrack, and it quickly became my go-to music. In fact, I audition for almost everything with the show’s arrangement of “Somebody to Love” but for this audition I used The Beatles' “Oh Darling”.
Contrary to Trev, I wasn’t familiar with the show before I auditioned. I was actually working abroad at the time, and, luckily, a friend sent me the casting notice. I did some research, binge-listened to the cast recording, and was hooked!
I assumed everyone would sing material from the score, so for my initial audition I sang “The Show Must Go On." Which isn’t showcased in the musical, but a classic Queen hit none the less.
Do you remember the first time you were aware of Queen and their music? What was your introduction?
Growing up playing sports, Queen’s hits “We Are The Champions” and “We Will Rock You” were very present in arena settings. You can always rely on their tunes for a pick-me-up, and even today, when I am not on stage, the Killer Queen character’s “Another One Bites The Dust“ and “Fat Bottom Girls” never cease to get my adrenaline pumping.
Totally! On road trips, my dad was in charge of the stereo. Fortunately, this exposed my siblings and me to many classic rock legends growing up. Queen’s Greatest Hits was a family favourite and you better believe I had that whole album memorized.
How do you describe the world of the show to your friends and family when they ask about it?
If only I had friends or family...The show takes place in a future world when individuality, free thought and music are all prohibited. The eccentric Bohemians are filled with colour, energy, and light as they fight for freedom of expression through the power of rock!
The show takes place on the Iplanet, formally known as Earth. It’s a time when the people’s appearance and thoughts are controlled, everything is computerized, and musical instruments are strictly forbidden. Scaramouche and Galileo are seen as outcasts and refuse to conform to society. They stumble upon a rebel group called the Bohemians and through the power of live music, take down the evil Killer Queen. Throw in twenty-four of Queens greatest hits and you’ve got a musical and rock concert in one! Deadly combo, if you ask me.
What’s been your favorite tour city so far and why?
As a proud Canadian, opening the show at Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall was a dream, so those performances will definitely have a special place in my heart. However, taking the stage at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theatre only a few weeks after this year’s Emmy’s was a night that will be very hard to forget.
New Orleans surpassed all my expectations. Not only is the city visually stunning and the food to die for, but strolling down the same block we were immersed in four completely different musical genres. It was one of the most unreal nights I have ever experienced and I cannot wait to go back!
What are three things you always have packed in your suitcase while touring?
Gratitude (a sense of humour)
My comedically large water bottle (it’s 3L, yes, I know I’m extra).
This show has some huge singing. How do you care for your voice during the run?
Taking care of your voice is absolutely vital in any show but when all of your songs are in the top male vocal range (thanks, Freddie Mercury) eating healthy, sleeping as much as possible, and warming up properly are key!
Offstage, I try to monitor how much I speak and avoid noisy restaurants/bars. I steam before and after every show, prioritize daily physical activity, take plenty of vitamins, always warm up, and drink copious amounts of water. The cast literally makes fun of me for my aforementioned oversized water bottle.
Which musical number in the show are you living your best life during?
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (but if the producers ask, all of them).
There are so many moments in the show I live for, but if I had to pick one It would be “Hammer to Fall.” Leading up to the song Scaramouche and Galileo have just experienced their “first fight” so the dialogue is quite witty and fast paced. The entire song we are trying to “one up” each-other both physically and vocally. It’s a feisty, sexy and somehow comedic duet. I’m not sure what I did in life to deserve singing with Trevor Coll every night, but hey, I’ll take it. We have a lot of fun.
Don’t miss Trevor Coll and Keri Kelly in We Will Rock You, running November 14-17 at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.