Family at the Core of Mary Poppins
Disney’s 1964 movie Mary Poppins was indeed “practically perfect in every way.” Based on the book by P.L. Travers and music by the Sherman Brothers, it garnered 13 Academy Award nominations with Julie Andrews winning the Oscar for her portrayal of Mary Poppins. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Disney brought the story to life on the stage on London’s West End in 2004 and then to Broadway in 2006 where it received seven Tony Award nominations. The stage musical is not a direct adaptation of the Disney film, but it features elements of the film and the original books, plus original updated elements and additional music supplied by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The story takes place in Edwardian London in 1910 where a magical nanny visits a dysfunctional family and opens their eyes and hearts to what is truly important in life: family. I found my first “theater family” here at the Civic 38 years ago when I performed in The Music Man. I went on to do two more productions under the wonderful guidance of director Richard Casey. Through him and the actors I met and shared the stage with, I found my passion and true calling. My Family. I left Fort Wayne when I was 17 years old and am happy to be back after all these years. So many great memories are in the rehearsal halls and on this stage for me. I have loved working with these actors on this piece. Each brings his or her own unique spirit and talent to tell this story and to create “our” Mary Poppins to share with you – and to be reminded also that “Anything Can Happen” if you let it.