As a result of winning the contest, she played Maria, the lead, in the Toronto revival of The Sound of Music from October 2008 through January 2010. She went on to star as Sherrie in Mirvish Productions' Rock of Ages at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre from April 2010 through January 2011 and on the first U.S. tour. She appeared as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Ross Petty Productions' 2011 pantomime at Toronto's Elgin Theatre from November 2011 through January 2012.
MacKenzie is currently represented by Toronto agency The Talent House.
MacKenzie was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. A self-described tomboy growing up in Surrey, British Columbia, she participated in children's choirs and various singing competitions. Her first job was at age 15, at De Dutch Pannekoek House in Vancouver. At age 16 she auditioned for Canadian Idol but was passed over because she sounded "too musical theatre". She graduated in 2008 from the musical theatre program at Capilano College, and had major roles in productions such as High School Musical in North Vancouver in 2007, in which she portrayed Gabriella . She was about to take a part in a community theatre production of Cinderella, as a wicked stepsister, and was also considering a career in massage therapy, when her uncle noticed the audition call for the CBC show.
On How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? after thousands of people auditioned in early 2008, she competed against 47 other finalists, who were eliminated by a combination of judges' decisions and viewer voting, although once the final two were selected, the winner was chosen only by fans. She beat out Janna Polzin of Woodstock, Ontario, who was widely expected to win. Composer and judge Andrew Lloyd Webber referred to MacKenzie as "the dark horse" of the competition.
The role of Maria was her first professional acting credit. Reviews of the Toronto show weren almost uniformly positive, and the show's success, despite the recession, was credited largely to MacKenzie. She played the role of Sherrie Christian in the Toronto production of the musical Rock of Ages and on the first U.S. tour.
- Ahearn, Victoria (July 28 2008)). "Maria found: Elicia MacKenzie wins coveted role". Canadian Press (TheStar.com). Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- "Elicia MacKenzie lands Rock of Ages lead". CBC News. December 15 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- Portman, Jamie (April 9 2009). "Vancouver's solution to problem of Maria: After six months on stage in Toronto, Elicia MacKenzie is still hearing sound of music in revival of classic musical". The Vancouver Sun. p. D13.
- "Ross Petty Productions Presents THE WIZARD OF OZ, begins 11/24". BroadwayWorld. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
- Stren, Olivia (April 2009). "Fresh start". Toronto Life 43 (4). pp. 21–22.
- "Getting personal with Elicia MacKenzie". Toronto Starpage=E3. December 20 2008.
- Broverman, Alison (December 27 2008). "Her most favourite of favourite things: Sound of Music star Elicia MacKenzie finally feels comfortable in Toronto, but isn't ready to go to your house for dinner". National Post. p. TO2.
- Mitges, Lynn (January 5 2009). "Plant is pleased to eat you". The Province. p. B2.
- Bradshaw, James (January 30 2009). "The hills are alive into summer". The Globe and Mail. p. R3.
- Farquharson, Vanessa (July 29 2008). "Problem like Maria solved by Vancouver's Mackenzie: CBC talent show". National Post. p. AL3. "I was so shocked to hear my name"
- Birnie, Peter (November 7 2008). "Upbeat shows survive hard times: Elicia MacKenzie in Sound of Music still singing]". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-05-18.