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Sophie Tweed-Simmons plays at the River Rock Casino Show Theatre

(theprovince.com) Season 7 of the A&E reality show Gene Simmons Family Jewels aired this past Monday night. As one of the “cast” of characters in the show, Sophie Tweed-Simmons has quite literally grown up in public. When the 20 year-old isn’t studying at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA., she lives in Whistler with boyfriend Nick “Mosh” Marshall and two big dogs. This weekend, she and her brother Nick reprise their version of the Donny & Marie Show first presented at Lulu’s Lounge as part of last year’s Grey Cup Festival, kidding around and singing Rat Pack classics and blues standards rather than any of that old time rock ‘n’ roll.

With one more year remaining for finishing her degree in computer engineering and religious studies, she’s looking ahead to a lot of changes.

“I was ready to stop growing up in public when I turned 13, but we’re a family and three out of four votes trumps mine,” says Tweed-Simmons. “This is how my life has been since we shot the pilot at age 12, so I don’t know anything else. I’m sure it will be weird not having cameras following me around all the time.”

Those who watch the TV show know that the tightly-knit family has faced some serious moments under the spotlights. This season “a lot of really intense stuff happened early on” and she elected to take some time off in Whistler to work on her boarding technique on the Wizard or accelerator run. It didn’t quite go as planned when she was learing how to pop her first ollie and other air techniques.
“The cameras followed me up there and they brought the whole family too, so there was no way out. That’s how it goes. You know there will be heavy and lighthearted moments and just hope nobody gets hurt.”

While Nick is considering a musical career, she is not planning on pursuing anything so stage centre. The main reason she does these gigs is simply because she enjoys performing with her brother. Yes, the closeness of the family isn’t an act. They really do all hang out and often put their life decisions to a vote. She says that is one of the reasons the 90 minute-long performance focusses on music from 60-plus years ago is obvious.

“The first thing people think of is that we’ll be doing Kiss songs but there is just no way. Even if we did something more serious, it would be as far away as it could from anything glam. I mean, there is just no way to do it after Dad.”

It is true. Even though both children of rocker Gene Simmons and his now wife Shannon Tweed inherited dad’s famed extra long tongue, those would be some mighty huge dragon-fanged platform boots to fill. So the two keep crooning along instead. The next planned performance is likely a gala fundraiser being discussed to raise monies for Sophie’s Place, Metro Vancouver’s first child protection centre that bears her name in Surrey. She says it isn’t about having her name associated with the initiative proposed by Surrey Mayor Diane Watts, it’s about doing something that needs to be done.
Now there’s an attitude worth shouting out loud.


Sophie & Nick Tweed-Simmons
Where: River Rock Show Theatre, Richmond
When: Friday, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $20 at Ticketmaster.ca or 1-855-985-5000

Sophie Tweed-Simmons plays at the River Rock Casino Show Theatre

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