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Don’t Stop Me Now

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New comedy explores one fan’s obsession with Queen front man Freddie Mercury.

Austin, TX June 1, 2009. What’s the soundtrack to your life? That’s the question posed by ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, a new play premiering at the Summer Acts! theatre festival in Austin (July 9-19). For super-fan Sonya Moore, the answer has always been Queen.

When faced with dilemmas in fashion, work, or relationships, Sonya seeks advice from the man she is sure has all the answers: Freddie Mercury. WWFD (What Would Freddie Do)? The answers steer Sonya in new directions with unexpected and funny results.

The show isn’t simply an homage to Queen. It deals with many of the universal experiences of adolescence – first kiss, best friends, annoying parents – and the sometimes reluctant move into adulthood. And like many of us, Sonya also learns hard lessons about the disappointments and compromises of hero worship.

Although Sonya Moore is fictional, writer and performer Maggie Gallant admits the show is partly based on her own life. “I was obsessed with Queen, and for a while, everything revolved around them.” she says. “I remember seeing an ad for a Queen mattress and desperately wanting one. That turned out to be quite a disappointment.”

Though never as successful in the US as in the UK, Queen’s hits are instantly recognizable, and both their music and Freddie’s stage persona have influenced many current artists. Recent American Idol critical favorite Adam Lambert has drawn comparisons to Mercury, both for his amazing voice and for his charismatic onstage presence.

“Most people have at least one song that marks an important moment in their life, whether jubilant or calamitous,” says Gallant. “The show is sure to trigger some memories.”

Maggie Gallant, a British-born writer and actor living in Austin, last performed in the FronteraFest Long Fringe festival in January 2009 with her show Our Angle in Heaven.

All six performances of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ will be at the City Theatre, 3823 Airport Blvd, Austin 78722. Show runs 60 minutes and tickets are $10 each. For reservations, call 512 585-5698