From rock ’n’ roll to wife

Erica Peck is only 22 years old and for the past two years, she’s beenstarring as Scaramouche in the hit musical We Will Rock You.

Erica Peck is only 22 years old and for the past two years, she’s been starring as Scaramouche in the hit musical We Will Rock You.

That would seem like achievement enough for a young woman, but she’s going to leave the Queen musical on March 8 and tackle something completely different, playing a young wife in strife-torn 1970s Northern Ireland, fighting to hold on to her man and her beliefs in The Boys in the Photograph.

This new show is by We Will Rock You’s writer/director Ben Elton and Andrew Lloyd Webber, a rewritten version of their 2000 London musical The Beautiful Game.

It’s opening at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in April, with a fair bit of Mirvish money behind it, and even though no Toronto date has been set, there’s a good chance it will wind up here in the not too distant future.

That’s a lot for one woman to have on her plate at an age when most of her peers are still in theatre school. How does she handle it? Judging from a recent interview, a combination of peppermint tea and positive thinking.

“I still wake up some days and can’t believe what I’m doing! I haven’t been bored for a second, honestly, and I don’t want it to ever end.”

It’s been quite a crazy journey for the woman who was plucked out of her second year at Sheridan College with nothing more substantial under her belt than two high school musicals and a summer at Canada’s Wonderland.

“You gotta love those people at the Mirvish office,” she giggles gratefully. “They really took a chance on me. They were the best. And so was Ben.”

She’s talking about Elton, who has become Peck’s mentor.

“He’s been the most important one in building my confidence, my self-esteem, everything,” she says.

Still, a quick look at her life would indicate that it’s never really been that tough going for the cheerful Peck.

She was born in London, Ont., on Aug. 15, 1986. Her parents moved to Port Credit and, before too long, Peck had decided music would be her life. But it wasn’t due to any parental push.

“My parents were so not stage parents,” she laughs. “They were both social workers, but they were very much about letting me find my passion.”

Her folks played B.B. King to her and she played Éponine in her school’s production of Les Misérables.

“(But) I’ve always been a big rock ’n’ roller,” she sighs. “I do love my Heart.”

So when she entered the musical theatre program at Sheridan, it wasn’t exactly a match made in heaven.

She praises some of “the great teachers I had,” but ultimately felt “the program was too conservative and formal and not for me.”

So, even though she wasn’t supposed to be auditioning while in her second year, she snuck out to the open call for We Will Rock You and ended up landing the part.

More rockin’
David Mirvishhas announced that the musical We Will Rock You will extend its run at the Panasonic Theatre throughMay 3.

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