Mary Poppins, the magical English nanny made famous in the 1964 film starring Julie Andrews, will be flying across the stage at the Norwin High School auditorium.
“We chose ‘Mary Poppins’ because we thought it would be a perfect show to showcase the students’ talents, especially in terms of the singing, acting and dancing,” said Lauren Scheirer, the musical producer and vocal director. Scheirer is co-director with Erin Shrader, who is the choreographer and costume director.
The 2018 release of the sequel, “Mary Poppins Returns,” with Emily Blunt in the Mary Poppins role, was perfect timing, says Scheirer, who is the Norwin High School freshman choir and chamber singers teacher. It is the first time in the 26-year history of the Norwin Theatre Company that it is staging “Mary Poppins.”
“The show has a great message overall. It is something you can relate to, whether you are 2 or 82,” says senior Carolyn Tachoir, who will play Mary Poppins in her eighth show at Norwin.
In the production, Poppins will literally be flying across the stage thanks to ZFX Flying Effects of Louisville, Ky. The professionals will set up the rigging and students will be trained to operate it, Scheirer says.
“I am thrilled. I have never flown on stage,” Tachoir says.
To get an American teenager, to sound like an English woman and not a Western Pennsylvanian involved some dialect coaching to get down “a proper British accent,” Scheirer says.
Kelsey Levendosky, a junior, plays Winifred Banks, the mother of Jane and Michael Banks. She likes her character, who hires Mary Poppins.
“I just like how she changes from being timid and shy and lets George (her husband) boss her around, but then she changes. By the end, she stands up for herself, nd, Levendosky says.
Senior Josh Hoffman, who plays Bert the head chimney sweep, says he’s an “uplifting character.”
The show has a large cast — 76 performers from grades two to 12 — and 25 crew members.
The show will be performed at 7 p.m. March 21, 22 and 23; and at 2 p.m. March 24, at the high school auditorium. Reserved tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. General admission seating is $8.