Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gentleman Reg has something up his sleeve: a paw!

Gentleman Reg Vermue has been charming audiences since he was a little boy, but it was in Guelph in the late 1990's that he adopted his stage name (he used to be called 'Rogue Reg Vermue'). In 2000, he started releasing albums on Toronto's late, great, Three Gut Records label. Wowing critics, and amassing cute fans in Canada and across the Atlantic too. He comes by his shocking blonde locks naturally, and was recently seen showing the famed curls off in John Cameron Mitchell's film Shortbus. He has performed with everyone from The Hidden Cameras, to Broken Social Scene. Basically, Reggie is adorable.

The Daily Rat: How did you get involved with The Rat King?

Gentleman Reg: Well it's so long ago now.....I was recruited for the very early edition of the play that was performed in the basement of the Drake, with my good friend Kit, and Luis Jacob, and Jonny was there. I think it was all my past musical experience in productions like Fame and A Chorus Line that Maggie knew of and just couldn't resist.

Rat: What is your role in the show?

Reg: My role for this version of the show is Leader of the Rat Pack. It's changed over time, since last year I was galavanting around Vancouver at the Out On Screen festival when they remounted at Harbourfront. But I like the choral and group work of the rats, and let's be honest, I'd be lost without Shayna.

Rat: What other creative and/or political projects have you been involved with?

Reg: Well I've just finished a new album with my band Gentleman Reg. Am looking for a label to release it, and forming a band, slowly. And also working on a dance music project with Dan Werb of the wonderful Woodhands. And that will materialize soon enough. And then some secret little things that might spoil if I chat about them too soon....also, trying to figure out how to incorporate more eye makeup into my life. Also, trying to figure out why it is that I eat when I'm not hungry. And accepting that even though I'd never felt better than when I was on the twelve day fast i completed two months ago, that at some point you just have to eat again, even if my body is telling me otherwise....it's confusing.

Rat: Of the themes in The Rat King, which do you feel a strong connection to?

Reg: Well it's interesting. Because recently i'd been trying to re-introduce all of my environmental ethics that i seemed to have put aside since moving to toronto from Guelph. So even simple things like only drinking fair-trade or fairly-traded coffee, shopping at markets, buying local,,, really basic every day things that are so easy to let slip when you're confronted with every possible choice in every neighborhood around town. And ulitmately i just found i'd gotten lazy and complacent about the little things... which are often the most important.

So it's interesting timing for me, that coming back to the Rat King with all that in my head every day, because there is so much in this play about environmental destruction and mutations and cancers and death. And ultimately subjects which are actually pretty topical on a mainstream level too, since everyones talking about global warning.....weather or not hey agree it's a concern is another issue. So yah... I'm relating to the environmental concerns the most. I want little bits of the activist fire I had in my belly when i was a teenager to come back.....just little bits though.

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