Fan Favourite to Kick Off Magnus Summer Season

During last year’s Magnus Theatre production of Home: A Bluegrass Celebration at Magnus in the Park, a patron made a suggestion to the company’s artistic director, Thom Currie: “That country show would be amazing in the tent.” To that patron, consider your request fulfilled, because Mama’s Country Record Collection is now on the Magnus summer stage. 

Written by Currie, this jukebox musical is about a woman (Samantha Piper) visiting home to help her dad (Danny Johnson) clean out the basement after the death of her mother. The father and daughter’s strained relationship begins to loosen as they go through the dozens of records she left behind and reconnect over her favourite music. “It’s kind of a true story based on helping my dad clean out his basement after my mom died, and I just saw dozens and dozens of records,” says Currie. “She collected music her whole life. So, you just start going through them and get taken back to the last time you held that record or someone played it.”

Currie conceived the show—which features hits from Glen Campbell, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and more—in 2006. Since its 2010 premiere at the Showboat Theatre Festival, the show has travelled to Montreal and Newfoundland, and was performed previously by Magnus in 2017. “My philosophy is that it’s a different experience every time you come to the theatre,” says Currie. “I want audiences who saw the show in 2017 to come back and experience a more intimate sound inside the tent because the sound bounces differently. We’re also updating the projections, where we could put them almost anywhere, surrounding audiences in the show.” 

While music is a focus of this heartfelt story, it is brought to life by many. Audiences will see the band, along with Johnson and Piper, play everything from piano to guitar to accordion to banjo. As for the music itself, its ability to stand the test of time adds more heart, fun, and memories to both the characters and the audience. “In the 1970s, music became more portable. You would hear popular music everywhere,” Currie says. “‘The Gambler’ was everywhere, ‘Jolene’ was an anthem. Everybody heard it all the time. And I think that’s what draws people in and that’s why this music has survived.”

Mama’s Country Record Collection runs July 6–29. To purchase tickets, visit or call 807-345-5552.

Story by Taylor Onski, Photo by Matthew Goertz