Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Getting to know Regina at Ontario Scene

A Toronto star brings her one-woman show to Ottawa

Regina, pictured here at SummerWorks, is ready to bring her one-woman show to Ontario Scene.  Credit: Alejandro Santiago

Regina has to do everything her-fucking-self. She gets herself out of bed, she cleans her own apartment, she does her own work — performing with the indie band Light Fires, which these days consists of only her — and when she needs to get off, she presumably takes care of that herself, too.

Reggie Vermue, even when he’s not performing as Regina, shares those frustrations. He’s also the Reggie Vermue who, when he performs as male, goes by the name Gentleman Reg. So when he put together a one-woman, getting-to-know-Regina show, it had to be called Do I Have To Do Everything My Fucking Self?

“I feel like it’s the most pertinent thing I’ve ever written,” he says. “It really relates to every single aspect of my life. And it really hits a nerve with people. When I thought of it, so many people said, ‘Oh my god, that’s exactly how I feel.’

As is the case with most boys who put on lipstick, stockings and heels, Reggie becomes bolder and funnier when he’s Regina. Before long, fans wanted to see more of the character they saw only briefly between electro-pop songs.

The show debuted at the 2014 Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto and went on to the SummerWorks performance festival. Now, Regina will get her glorious gams on stage for one night only at Ontario Scene, a 90-event strong arts festival in Ottawa.

The show — a cabaret filled with Light Fires songs, stand-up comedy and hilarious story-telling — gives a brief but bewitching glimpse of who Regina really is: her likes, dislikes, sense of humour, style, penchant for swearing and bits of her life story. And legs. Mustn’t forget the legs.

While Regina shares some of Reggie’s autobiography, such as attending University of Guelph — “Even if I tell it as the exact history of my life, but as her, it becomes funny, because it’s this hot, crazy chick doing these things instead of me” — some of her past is all her own.

“She doesn’t have a fully defined past,” Reggie says. “She has a style and an attitude which comes from all kinds of things: rock and roll, ’70s and ’80s, New York City — I sort of picture her in the same world as Debbie Harry, New Wave, and stuff like that.”

“And she’s obsessed with farmer’s markets because they make her feel very sexy.”