|Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo was founded in 1974 |
(Photo courtesy Ballets Trockadero)
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Sunday, 12 February 2017
|Chris Barillaro recording the Curtains Up theme with Roger Peace |
(Photo courtesy Curtains Up)
Following a lengthy battle with cancer, legendary Canadian theatre director Roger Peace died peacefully in the palliative care unit at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital on February 10.
Peace brought his love for live musical theatre to North America when he sailed from London to Montreal in 1957 aboard the ocean liner SS Columbia at the age of 21 and experienced the tail-end of Montreal’s famed and infamous golden Sin-City era.
The Montreal theatre scene wasn’t quite London’s West End, where Peace had landed a bit part in the musical Call Me Madam at the London Coliseum in 1952 at the age of 16. But he spent much of his professional life as a director and producer casting larger-than-life divas in his productions, notably his longtime muse, Montreal jazz legend Ranee Lee, and another of his favourites, soul singer Michelle Sweeney.
When another glorious diva, Juno Award-winning soul singer Kim Richardson, starred in his 2013 revival of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, theatre critic Pat Donnelly wrote in the Montreal Gazette that Peace “directed Montreal’s first Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Le Stage dinner theatre at La Diligence restaurant in 1986. That one ran for more than a year and did a Canadian tour. There were only four singers, Michelle Sweeney, Ranee Lee, Dorian Joe Clark and Anthony Sherwood, with musical director Ari Snyder alone on piano.”
“We couldn’t afford a fifth performer,” Peace said.