The world premiere of Mary and Max—A New Musical plays Theatre Calgary October 16–November 11 in the Arts Commons Max Bell Theatre, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Get a sneak peek of the new musical in the rehearsal video above.
Based on an Australian claymation film by Adam Elliot about two unlikely pen pals, Mary and Max has music and lyrics by Bobby Cronin, a book by Crystal Skillman, direction by Artistic Director Stafford Arima, choreography by Jenn Rapp, and orchestrations and music supervision by Anna Ebbesen.
The cast features Lauren Elder (Side Show, Hair) in the role of Mary and Anthony Galde (Wicked, The Civil War) as Max, with Susan Gilmour (Les Misérables) as Vera and Nick Adams (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Pirate Queen) as Damian.
Rounding out the cast are Chase Crandell, Alana Hibbert, Kevin Aichele, Kelsey Verzotti, Eric Wigston, and Katie McMillan as Young Mary.
“I am thrilled to be bringing this amazingly talented group of artists together from Calgary, across Canada, and the United States," said Arima in an earlier statement. "To be able to give Mary and Max a fully realized production, after five years of development, warms my heart. Bobby and Crystal have been working tirelessly on this musical, and I am thrilled beyond belief that Theatre Calgary will be the home of the world premiere. Bringing together this deliciously eclectic ensemble of performers and international designers and creatives to Calgary also adds to my joy and pride."
"When I saw the claymation film, I knew right away that I had to musicalize it. It sang to me," added Cronin. "As we developed the piece, it was clear that we were on to something very important in this frustrating time of worldwide chaos, discrimination, and rebellion. Mary and Max is a much-needed reminder of the importance of kindness, friendship, acceptance, and the need for human connection."
The production also features scenic and costume design by Bretta Gerecke (Nevermore), lighting design by Kimberly Purtell (Snow Child, Arena Stage), projection design by Sean Nieuwenhuis (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), and sound design by Peter McBoyle (Arrabel, A.R.T.). The stage manager is Patti Neice, and the assistant stage manager is Emma Brager.