Magnus Theatre is in the midst of preparing for a revolutionary new season, and that will start with the return of summer programming. Mama’s Country Record Collection, a musical play written and directed by Thom Currie (pictured above), will kick off at least three consecutive summers of programming on the Magnus Stage. Currie, whom is also Magnus Theatre’s artistic director, feels it is important to give audiences something entertaining outside of the regular main stage season.
“Over the past several months we’ve taken a look at what we can do to become a bigger part of the lives of people in Thunder Bay; how can we become the big little theatre in central Canada. One of those ideas was to offer a seventh major production over a calendar year,” Currie says.
Indeed this production will not be a case of ‘Magnus-Lite’ and is in fact a full scale production. “Mama’s Country Record Collection is big show,” says Currie. “It’s two actors, a full band and a large set. Audiences I think will find this show on par with anything we’d have in the main stage season.”
Mama’s Country Record Collection features Magnus newcomer Robyn Harrison as Caitlin, who is helping her father, played by longtime Magnus favourite Danny Johnson, to clean out her late mother’s immense collection of old records. The two reminisce and frequently break into song, as the show explores over 50 of the biggest country hits of the 1960s through the early 1980s. Currie says audiences, whether country fans or not, will be very familiar with the body of work in the show. “These are some of the most memorable songs from an era. Will all of these songs be remembered 100 years from now? Some of them will… not all of them. But will audiences be singing along to them when they watch the show? Absolutely,” Currie says.
Backing up Harrison and Johnson on stage will be a backing band of some of the biggest names in Thunder Bay’s music scene. Rob Jardine and Dan Zadkovich are regulars to the Magnus stage, and Jeff Korkola will make his debut.
Mama’s Country Record Collection has been produced across Canada from, and has received critical acclaim wherever it’s played. Robyn Harrison also played Caitlin in the Stephenville Festival Theatre production in Newfoundland in 2015.
Mama’s Country Record Collection is on stage from July 11-22. Tickets are available at magnus.on.ca, by calling 807-345-5552 or by visiting the theatre during box office hours.