How They Met: Matilda star Dan Chameroy met his wife while performing in another T.O. musical
Christine Donato and Dan Chameroy met when they were both hired to do Les Misérables
Dan Chameroy is no stranger to villainous female characters.
The actor, who currently stars as Miss Trunchbull in the Mirvish production of Matilda, running at the Ed Mirvish Theatre until Nov. 27, annually dons a frock for Ross Petty’s holiday production.
He was once one of the ugly stepsisters in Petty’s version of Cinderella, and became accustomed to the boos from the little ones.
But he’s now graduated to the legendary role of Plumbum von Botox, one of the good gals.
Here he tells us about the not-so villainous leading lady in his life: his wife and fellow performer, Christine Donato.
How they met
We met in the spring of 1991. We were both hired to do Les Misérables.
The first date
Our first date was a very casual afternoon matinee of Doc Hollywood.
My hope was to charm Christine into falling in love with me. I used all of my skills — i.e., impersonations, jokes, the story of a lost boy (me) in a big city. How else could one so average earn someone so perfect? It worked.
Our favourite early memories include the humid summer nights after our evening show of Les Misérables. We would walk to the St. Andrew subway station, perch ourselves on the edge of a nearby flower bed and spend hours laughing and talking the night away as the Toronto city lights glowed around us.
After several years together, I felt it was time to take the next step in our relationship.
My career had been a primary focus, and I realized I had the best thing in my life waiting for me at home.
So while working in Vancouver, I bought the ring and kept it for what felt like an eternity. Six months later we took a well-deserved vacation to Barbados.
After a delectable French-inspired meal we sat poolside in the moonlight sharing our hopes and dreams. We later retreated to the balcony of our suite where, on one knee, I asked her to marry me.
We were married in Christine’s hometown of Hamilton and our reception was in Oakville. We had an intimate gathering of family and friends.
We have one daughter. Olivia is our pride and joy. Our raison d’etre.
Balancing work and marriage
After 18 years of marriage, we are still trying to figure this out. The most challenging time is when I’m in rehearsals, on tour or when Christine and I are both working. We stay connected through late night conversations, date nights, texting, FaceTime and daily phone calls.
We both like exercising, gardening, going for walks, renovating the house and keeping our daughter entertained.
Secret of success
It comes down to three main things: communication, patience and understanding.