Musical with Calgary connections sparking Broadway buzz

Evan Kinnane, Marc Hall and Lonny Price stand in the forefront with cast members from the Louder We Get production

Catchy tunes, high school drama, and a message of standing up for your beliefs have helped a musical based on a Calgarian’s life attract international attention before the revamped production even debuts.

The Louder We Get tells the story of Marc Hall’s legal battle to bring his boyfriend to his Ontario high-school prom in 2002. He won that fight but had no idea standing up to his school principal would trigger an international news story back then, and now a musical showing at Theatre Calgary.

"Honestly it’s just so incredibly surreal," said Marc Hall, who has lived in Calgary the past six years. "It’s so completely bizarre to meet who’s playing you and your friends and family."

The production is based on the book by Alberta-born playwright Kent Staines with music and lyrics by former Calgarians Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey.

"A lot of upbeat songs that just kind of get you ready to go and do something," said Evan Kinnane who is playing the role of Marc Hall.

The musical started at Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project, which also created the highly-decorated play Come from Away.

The Marc Hall story already hit stages in Montreal and London, Ontario but this is the biggest production yet, with Broadway director Lonny Price and new investment in the show.

Hall said the play seems to resonate with many young people. "Students messaging me saying they’re so inspired by the musical they’ve come out to their family."

"I’m so excited seeing it come to fruition here in Calgary and see the impact on Calgary."

The musical has also caught the eyes of producers in Britain and the United States.

The Louder We Get runs at Theatre Calgary Jan. 28 through Feb. 22, 2020, in the Arts Commons Max Bell Theatre. Tickets are on sale now at theatrecalgary.com.