“Practically perfect in every way,” a right proper English nanny is blown by a strong East wind to #17 Cherry Tree Lane, London, to care for the children of Mr. and Mrs. George Banks. Mary Poppins was the first of eight books written by Australian-British writer P. L. Travers spanning from 1934 to 1988. There have been many incarnations of Mary Poppins over the years. The first, outside the books, was a 1949 CBS Studio One television production; the 1964 Walt Disney film starring Julie Andrews and a 1983 musical film adapted into Russian and shown on Russian TV. The world premiere of the first stage adaption of Mary Poppins was in London in 2004, a BBC radio dramatization in 2010 followed, and finally, the Walt Disney production, Mary Poppins Returns in 2018.
Now, on the unpredictable East March winds of Indiana, Mary Poppins will arrive, complete with her traveling carpet bag, as North Montgomery High School Performing Arts presents Disney’s Mary Poppins on the NMHS stage. Co-directed by Michael Melvin and the new choir teacher at NMHS, Sarah Kavanagh, this production promises a whirlwind of family friendly excitement from the first lighting cue to the final musical note.
Senior Emily Brewer brings the starch aproned Mary Poppins to life with a zesty outlook on everything around her. Brewer has been performing since the sixth grade in chorus and performing minor characters. Mary Poppins is her first leading role. She will be heading on to Indiana State to study Music Education.
Cantankerous and ever loving Bert is performed by senior Brian Bone. Also, performing since the sixth grade his last major role was as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family. Bone has been admitted to IU Bloomington where he plans to study game design and development.
Co-director Kavanagh is in her ninth year of teaching and hails from Kokomo and Lafayette.
About the production of Mary Poppins she tell The Paper, “Watching these students grow as performers is heartwarming. Poppins is a play about strong family values and everyone has taken that to heart. They auditioned as students and have grown into a tight knit unit that involves everyone, including major help from the parents.”
The other half of the directing team is Melvin, Theatre Troupe Sponsor and 8th grade mathematics teacher at Northridge Middle School. When asked what it took to pull such a huge production together, he replied, “It takes a village to put this together. We owe so much to the efforts of the parents and the students have given more than 100 percent, way more. Upstairs are the unsung heroes, our terrific technical staff watching over us and everyone in our student leader positions have worked tirelessly. From a learning standpoint, students have developed teamwork and how to make their own ideas come to life and pull together to make it all happen. What we are doing and what they are learning will last a lifetime.”
Mary Poppins will be presented Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance will be presented on Sunday, March 17 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students. Purchase tickets at the door or online at bit.ly/nmfinearts.
North Montgomery High School is located North of Crawfordsville at 5945 US-231.
Phone (765) 362-5140.
Mary Poppins is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI.