Sunday, March 26, 2023

Release: Theatre Aquarius Announces Cast for World Premiere

Theatre Aquarius and Confederation Centre of the Arts announce the extraordinary 18-member cast of MAGGIE, a new musical produced in association with Michael Rubinoff and Johnny Reid.

Set between 1954 and 1976, MAGGIE tells the inspirational tale of a Scottish single mother of three boys, living in the mining town of Lanarkshire, Scotland. After suffering an unthinkable loss, Maggie must rely on her strength, sense of humour and fiercely loyal group of friends to raise her boys and protect them from the harsh and ever-changing world around them.

Based on a true story, MAGGIE features a soul-stirring score by award-winning recording artist Johnny Reid. A tribute to Johnny’s Granny and the people of an almost forgotten generation, this exciting new musical is a celebration of family, community and the joy and laughter that can be found, even in the darkest of times. 

“MAGGIE celebrates not only my Gran and her life but also an entire generation of women who fought through some tough times by keeping faith, hope, love, family, friendship and humour close to heart.” said Reid in a press release.

MAGGIE’s book and lyrics are by Johnny Reid and Matt Murray, with music co-written by
Johnny Reid, Matt Murray, and Bob Foster. Direction & Dramaturgy by Mary Francis Moore and Music Supervision, Orchestrations & Arrangements by Bob Foster.

MAGGIE will premiere at Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius in April before heading east to
Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre of the Arts in June.

“An incredible group of actors has been assembled to bring this inspiring story of resilience to the stage. I am excited for audiences to be uplifted by the exceptional talent of this gifted company.” Michael Rubinoff the Associate Producer of MAGGIE explained. “MAGGIE is a story that will remind you of the people who made the greatest impact in your life.”

Leading the company as Maggie, is Dharma Bizier who recently toured with Johnny Reid on his 2022 “Love Someone” national tour. Bizier, a 2019 graduate of Sheridan College’s acclaimed musical theatre program is already familiar with MAGGIE, having participated in the college’s reading of the production while it was in its formulative stage. Hamilton audiences may also have seen Bizier in November 2021, when she performed in a talkback for MAGGIE that took place at Theatre Aquarius featuring select songs from the production.

“It has been an honour to see this talented cast start to bring the story of my Granny to life. I’m so pleased with the way Dharma Bizier and the rest of the cast have captured the essence of Maggie and the people she chose to surround herself with,” said Johnny Reid.

Audiences who attended the sneak-peek talkback will also recognize actor Will Lincoln, who was one the three cast members (in addition to Bizier and ensemble member Liam Crober-Best) who performed in the November 2021 preview.

In addition to sneak-peek participants, the cast also consists of several individuals who participated in the original reading of the musical at Sheridan College. Bizier and Crober-Best are joined in this regard by Aiden Burke, who will be reprising the role he originated at Sheridan as Wee Jimmy and Aaron Ryder.

The cast will also feature Lawrence Libor, who Theatre Aquarius audiences will remember as a Young Johnny Cash in their recent Ring of Fire production.

Theatre Aquarius Artistic Director and MAGGIE Director Mary Francis Moore said, “Casting
this show has been a labour of love and was a rigorous process that took over a year. The
opportunity to premiere MAGGIE in Hamilton at Theatre Aquarius with this dynamic group of artists from across the country is an honour, and we can’t wait to share this powerful story and unbelievable score.”

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