Receiving a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in the smash hit Mamma Mia! was a highlight for Louise Pitre, Canada’s first lady of musical theatre, in a career that spans theatre, television and concert stages across North America and Europe.
In addition to headlining the Toronto, Broadway and US touring company casts of Mamma Mia!, Louise is known for her signature performances as Fantine in Les Misérables (Toronto, Montreal and Paris), the title character in Edith Piaf, Mama Rose in Gypsy (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Gary Griffin director) and Joanne in Company, again with director Gary Griffin. She also earned raves for leading roles in Annie Get Your Gun, Song & Dance, Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris, The World Goes ‘Round, Blood Brothers, Tartuffe, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, Applause, The Toxic Avenger, A Year With Frog and Toad; and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. In 2014 she premiered in the new Asolo Rep Theatre production of Luck Be A Lady created and directed by Gordon Greenberg and in 2015 she originated the role of the Snake in the world premiere of The Little Prince by James D. Reid and Nicholas Lloyd Webber at Theatre Calgary for which she won a Critter Award. For her role as Edith Piaf in the North American premiere of The Angel & the Sparrow at the Segal Centre in Montreal in 2018, Louise received a METAs nomination (Montreal English Theatre Awards) for Outstanding Lead Performance – Actress. The show’s director Gordon Greenberg stated: “Louise is probably the foremost interpreter of Edith Piaf in the world”. In 2019, The Angel & The Sparrow was brought to Toronto by Mirvish Productions and retitled Piaf/Dietrich, A Legendary Affair at which time Louise reprised her role as Piaf to enthusiastic reviews. Also in 2019, Louise played Adult Marie van Goethem in the new musical Marie, Dancing Still presented at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. The musical is largely the result of collaboration by five-time Tony Award-winning director-choreographer Susan Stroman and the Tony Award-winning team of writer Lynn Ahrens and composer Stephen Flaherty. In the 2019 Musical Stage Company production of Next To Normal in Toronto, Louise broke through gender boundaries by playing the role of Doctor Madden (Doctor Fine) previously portrayed as male.
In September, 2009, Louise made her Carnegie Hall debut singing the role of Ulrika in the concert version of the musical Kristinaby ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus which she reprised at Royal Albert Hall in April 2010.
In 2013 Louise premiered her self-penned one-woman show On The Rocks at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto with original songs by Louise Pitre and W. J. Matheson. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Louise sought an opportunity to share her intimate show virtually in May 2021 through Stream Stage Productions.
Louise has guested with orchestras across Canada and the U.S. and appears in concert regularly throughout North America with accompaniment ranging from big band to solo piano.
Her small screen appearances include Lifetime’s A Christmas Wedding, Recipe for a Perfect Christmas, Merry Matrimony, MVP, Flashpoint and the CBC biopic Celine in which she played Celine Dion’s mother, Therese. Louise was the host of Star Portraits on Bravo for its two seasons. She was chosen to be one of the three judges for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CBC series Over The Rainbow.
Louise is the winner of a National Broadway Touring Award, a New York Theatre World Award, a San Francisco Theatre Critics’ Award, a Betty Mitchell Award and four Dora Mavor Moore Awards, all for best performance by a leading actress in a musical.
Since earning her Honours BA in Music Education (piano) from the University of Western Ontario, Louise has become the proud recipient of honorary degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music and Humber College along with a Doctorate of Music from the University of Western Ontario.
Louise has released five solo CD’s: Shattered, All of My Life Has Led To This, Songs My Mother Taught Me, On The Rocks and an all French CD, La Vie En Rouge. She is heard as Fantine in the Paris cast recording of Les Misérables, and as Ulrika in the Benny Andersson/Bjorn Ulvaeus musical Kristina cast recording live at Carnegie Hall. She, together with W. Joseph Matheson and Diane Leah recorded their original wartime musical Could You Wait? which premiered at Theatre Orangeville.
Louise holds the position of Honorary Co-chair with the Hélène Tremblay Lavoie Foundation created to help address a critical lack of long-term care for Francophones in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The foundation leads the way on behalf of Francophones, especially those in the later stages of their lives, to have the opportunity to live in French and enjoy a quality of life that they deserve.