The new musical recently made its world premiere at Canada's Theatre Calgary developed by Broadway Dreams Foundation. Based on the claymation film by Adam Elliot, the revised German-speaking version—with translation by Jana Mischke—will open in the new opera house of Linz.
Mary and Max, with music and lyrics by Cronin and a book by Skillman, concerns bullied 13-year old Lily, who has locked herself in her room. Her newly single father doesn't know what to do, and he chooses to tell Lily the story of Mary and Max, a tale set in the 1970s about the friendship between Australian Mary Daisy Dinkle, a chubby and lonely eight-year-old with a birthmark on her forehead, and Max Jerry Horowitz, a 44-year-old obese New Yorker who is soon diagnosed with a newly named disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome. As penpals, they go through their highest and lowest times together, spanning 20 years.
Artistic Director Matthias Davids said in a statement, “I felt, after seeing the presentation in Munich [which won the 2018 MUT Prize Critics Award], that Mary and Max has a high potential to be a new successful show. I had seen and loved the movie, so I was looking forward to finding out how the (not so easy) transition from a stop-motion world to the musical theatre stage would function. The result is very promising, since the story is relevant to us. The tragicomic story of Mary and Max, brilliantly reflected also in the composition of Bobby Cronin, is heartbreaking as well as heartwarming and it is very much surprising how much you feel, suffer and laugh with these odd characters. I am looking forward to having Mary and Max in our theatre taking audiences into their world, a humorous-melancholy parable of the beauty and ugliness of life.”