We all know Juste Leblanc (“Ah, he doesn’t have a first name?”)! It is this character of the writer in Le diner de cons that René Simard will perform at the theater this summer. A first for the 61-year-old artist, who has never been on stage with an unsung piece.
André Robitaille had the idea to stage the theatrical version of the Dîner de cons. An adventure that makes a René Simard slightly nervous who assures us that he only experiences “good stage fright”.
“I still marvel today,” he said. It is not because we have a 50-year career that we have infused science.”
It must be said that the actor finds himself in the company of old friends like Bernard Fortin (Lucien Cheval) , Normand D'Amour (M. Brochant) and Laurent Paquin (François Pignon), as well as with talented new accomplices: Gabrielle Fontaine (Marlène Sasseur) and Pascale Montreuil (Mme Brochant).
< p>“We almost sold all the tickets for this summer, I think people want to laugh, says the one who released Condor in 2021, the 53rd album of his career. We added Quebec references in the text, but we kept the cult scenes, and then we play in Quebec, but not in joual.”
On July 11, René Simard will also take part in the benefit show I still rememberfor the benefit of the palliative care center La Maison Adhémar-Dion. He will share the stage of the Lionel-Groulx theater with several artists, including Guylaine Tanguay, Mario Pelchat, Ludovick Bourgeois and Lise Dion. A cause that is particularly close to the heart of the man who, in 2015, assisted his own mother in this difficult moment.
“As a society, we must be aware of this kind of benchmark , he explains. We must not play the ostrich, it will happen to all of us. With my mother, even if it was very difficult, I found a certain beauty [with] the staff and [in front of] an end of life lived in dignity. For me, who is aging like everyone else, it's a tip of the hat to life.”
If the anniversary tour 50 years of love(aiming to celebrate his five decades in show business) that he had planned for the fall had to be canceled – the fault, once again, of the pandemic –, the artist however leaves the possibility of a trio of upcoming shows in three major cities in Quebec. “It's in the air”, he says.
There are also directing projects in the air, cinema dreams (“I would so much like to play a role composition, I'm ready to audition!” he assures) and, in September 2023, a mysterious “musical” which he will be in charge of.
♦ The play Le diner de cons is presented this summer throughout Quebec. Tickets: monarqueproductions.com/portfolio/le-diner-de-cons-2020/
♦ The benefit concert I still remember will be held on July 11th. Tickets and donations: lamaisonadhemardion.ca/evenements/