MAGGIE, a new Canadian musical from the originating producer of Come From Away and celebrated recording artist Johnny Reid is set to play in The 2023 Charlottetown Festival this summer. Confederation Centre of the Arts has announced the cast and creative team bringing MAGGIE to the stage at The 2023 Charlottetown Festival.
Set in post-war Scotland, MAGGIE tells the inspirational tale of a fiery school cleaner living in the mining town of Lanarkshire. After suffering an unthinkable loss, she 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. The heartfelt show features a soul-stirring score by award-winning recording artist Johnny Reid, a Scot who immigrated to Canada as a teenager. The musical is based on the true story of his grandmother.
“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,” says Reid. “It reminds us that joy and laughter can be found, even in the darkest of times.”
The musical was first workshopped as part of Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project, a program that incubated new musicals and launched the global hit Come From Away. The originating producer of Come From Away, Michael Rubinoff, is producing MAGGIE with Reid.
Starring in the musical’s titular role is Dharma Bizier, a Sheridan graduate who has been involved with the production since 2018. Bizier went on to travel with Reid on his 2022 national tour, where she opened the concert with three songs from the musical.
“The music comes from the heart, and you can tell that it was written with a lot of love for the characters and story,” says Bizier. “There are songs that make me laugh or cry every time I hear them, and they beautifully connect the audience to the narrative.”
Several Festival alumni are set to join Bizier, including Charlottetown native Aaron Ryder, Michelle Bardach, Nicola-Dawn Brook, Jay Davis, Jeremy Legat, Sweeney MacArthur, and Andrew McAllister.
Cast members making their Festival debut include Dharma Bizier, Aiden Burke, Liam Crober-Best, Lawrence Libor, Alyssa LeClair, Will Lincoln, Clea McCaffrey, Jamie McRoberts, Kaitlyn Post, Julius Sermonia, and Adam Stevenson.
MAGGIE is co-produced by Confederation Centre of the Arts and Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, Ontario, where the musical premiered in April. The production’s music is written by Reid, Matt Murray, and Bob Foster. It is directed by fellow Scot Mary Francis Moore, who is the artistic director of Theatre Aquarius.
MAGGIE will play at throughout the summer from June 21–September 2. Tickets for all performances are on sale now at confederationcentre.com. The studio cast recording is available on all digital platforms.
The Centre is holding a contest for the opening weekend of The 2023 Charlottetown Festival. Open to residents in the Maritimes, one winner will be drawn to receive a prize package that includes hotel accommodations, a gas card, Confederation Bridge pass, a $600 Canada’s Food Island gift card, tickets to see MAGGIE and The Play That Goes Wrong, and more. The contest runs until May 23. For details and to enter, visit confederationcentre.com/contest.
To celebrate Mother’s Day in May, patrons can get 25 percent off Tier 2 and 3 tickets for performances of MAGGIE. The sale runs May 11–13 through the Centre’s box office. Tickets can be purchased in-person, via phone at 1-800-565-0278, or online at confederationcentre.com using the code: mother23. This discount is valid on new purchases only and does not apply to opening night or preview performances.