By Nick Kuhl on January 11, 2020.
“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
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
“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
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, cross-generational popularity of Queen’s
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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