Interview: Liam Tobin And Danielle Wade of CHRIS, MRS. at the Winter Garden Theatre

CHRIS, MRS., a new Canadian holiday musical, makes its debut at the Winter Garden theatre December 7.

By: Dec. 07, 2023
Interview: Liam Tobin And Danielle Wade of CHRIS, MRS. at the Winter Garden Theatre
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Interview: Liam Tobin And Danielle Wade of CHRIS, MRS. at the Winter Garden Theatre

Are you a Christmas cheerleader? A decorated-tree devotee? Do you love Hallmark Christmas movies so much you wish you could see one live? Well, CHRIS, MRS., aims to fulfil that need.

A world-premiere Canadian holiday musical by Matthew Stodolak and Katie Kerr, the show opens December 7 at the Winter Garden Theatre after two years in development, a successful Kickstarter campaign, and a workshop production at Stratford’s Avon Theatre. BroadwayWorld spoke to the stars of the show, Liam Tobin and Danielle Wade, about what audiences can expect from the homegrown show that hopes to capture that Christmas magic to become a new holiday tradition.

BWW: What is the show about?

Liam: Chris, Mrs. is ultimately a show about family. Widower Ben Chris and his family have settled into a routine and dynamic that seems fine on the surface, but when they travel to the family lodge run by his brother Charlie, they meet Holly Carmichael (played by Danielle) who shows them how Christmas spirit can bring them joy, as well as help Ben to rediscover himself, and what he’s missed.

BWW: Can you tell us about the characters you play, and what makes them special?

Liam: I play Ben Chris, a widowed, successful advertising executive who thinks that as long as he’s providing for his family, then he’s doing his job. When Holly Carmichael holds up the proverbial mirror and shows him how he has shut himself down after the loss of his wife, he opens himself up to the love he was missing with his family, along with a new, budding romance.

Danielle: Holly Carmichael is a world traveller with a heart of gold and a love of all things holiday. She’s able to see people for who they are, but has a harder time doing that for herself. She’s able to bring out the best in others, and when she meets Ben and his family, I think they finally return that favour. 

BWW: What are the challenges of presenting a new holiday musical when there are so many classic stories?

Liam: I think any new musical has many challenges to overcome before playing for its first audience, but we have so many amazing people involved in this production, and we’re all very excited

Danielle: When you are creating something without source material you really have to just trust your gut and an excellent creative team, and work together.

BWW: What do you most enjoy about bringing this story to life?

Liam: It is so exciting to bring a brand-new Canadian musical with a Canadian cast to life. There is such beautiful music, amazing dancing, and a truly touching story that will hopefully become a new holiday tradition for many families.

BWW: Is this a show mostly for viewers who celebrate Christmas, or can it be enjoyed by everyone?

Danielle: Chris, Mrs. is really a show for everyone. Families, friends, a first date, even a co-worker you’re not sure what to get for the holidays. Ultimately, it’s a show about togetherness and sharing moments of joy, no matter the traditions you celebrate.

BWW: What is your favourite holiday memory?

Danielle: My favourite holiday memory is opening matching PJ sets every Christmas Eve, waiting for everyone to wake up, sitting at the top of the stairs and heading to the tree all together. It’s always been a day that my family makes every excuse to just hang out and spend time together.

Photo of Finn Cofell, Liam Tobin, Danielle Wade, and Lucien Duncan-Reid by Max Power Photography


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