Simply Theatre brings beloved show tunes to life with Love Changes Everything musical revue

Founded more than 20 years ago in London, Ontario, Simply Theatre moved to Calgary in 2014. With a goal of creating and focusing on beautiful stories, Simply Theatre has produced more than 50 projects in its history, including 12 Angry Men (2014), She Kills Monsters (2016), Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens (2017), Crimes of the Heart (2017), and A Few Good Men (2018).

The company’s latest production, Love Changes Everything (A Broadway Revue), draws on a deep pool of classic and contemporary Broadway and musical theatre moments to entice, entertain and tell a new kind of love story. The theme of Love Changes Everything is, of course, love. But “love of all types, whether romantic, forbidden, friendship, or heartbreak,” says Mallorie Miller, marketing director at Simply Theatre. “It moves through the stages of love, from first meetings and yearning, to flirtation, heartbreak and romantic love. No matter where we are in our lives, most of us has experienced at least one of these stages of love and can relate.”

Featuring a cast of 13 accompanied by a three-piece band, Love Changes Everything includes selections from: Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita); Elton John (Aida); Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County stage adaptation, Honeymoon in Vegas stage adaptation); Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, Bring it On stage adaptation in collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda); and noted Disney composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies), and more.

“Our director, Fadi Saghir, and a small team, collaborated together to create Love Changes Everything and select the musical pieces,” says Miller. “Normally a show would be selected and there wouldn’t be much room for changes, but here we were able to adapt the songs to tell a slightly different story than what the respective musical (it was drawn from) tells. It brings a new perspective to each song, which flow from one song into another, sometimes between completely different eras of musical theatre.”

This weeks’ performances also serve as a fundraiser to support Simply Theatre’s 2019-20 season. “It can be quite expensive to gain the rights to the wonderful stories we want to tell, and the money raised will go toward show rights for next season,” explains Miller. In fact, Simply Theatre will announce their upcoming season on opening night, Thursday, May 2, giving audience members a sneak peek of what’s to come later this year and how their support makes a personal contribution to Simply Theatre’s continued growth.

“We want to bring theatre to people in Calgary in an accessible way – to bring hope and happiness, do something thought-provoking, share what we feel really matters in life and focus on the things that bring us together,” says Miller. “We want people to leave knowing that, no matter their personal philosophies or the challenges they may face in life, love is always there. It can be comical and lighthearted, or deeply emotional and heartbreaking. But it’s the reason we do the things we’re passionate about. It’s universal.”

Love Changes Everything (A Broadway Revue) runs Thursday, May 2 to Saturday, May 4, at Alexandra Centre Society (922 9 Ave. S.E.) at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Shannon McClennan-Taylor is a writer, publicist, and arts/culture junkie with a bachelors in English Lit and a master’s in International Journalism. When not at the theatre, cinema, or record store, she’s probably knitting. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.