The St. James' Episcopal School Performing Arts Program presented a one-night engagement of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins, a musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film, performed at the Gallery Theater at the Barnsdall Art Park in Los Angeles on November 21, 2014.
Mary Poppins became an immediate hit when it premiered as a movie musical in 1964. Forty years later, Cameron Mackintosh conceived of an enchanting stage musical that combines elements of Disney’s film with material inspired by Travers’ books. In the musical, Bert, a jack-of-all-trades, invites us into the world of London, England in 1910 — and, specifically, into the dysfunctional home of the Banks family. Jane and Michael, the young Banks children, have sent yet another nanny packing, dismissing these children as hopelessly and irrevocably spoiled and misbehaved. With a father who works constantly and mother who is always distracted, Jane and Michael have suffered without strong caretaking forces in their lives. Then the magical Mary Poppins flies in on the wind, bringing with her a combination of whimsy, magic, and disciplined common sense to the children’s lives. Together, they go on memorable and magical adventures — and also learn the importance of a tidy nursery and of taking the medicine they need (with a spoonful of sugar, of course.) Mary Poppins’ transformational influence does not stop with the children – eventually, she teaches the grown-ups, as well, to open up and realize that “anything can happen if you let it.”
Produced by Joe Davidson and Beth Kawaja. Director: John Staley. Musical Director: Thomas Shepard. Choreographer: Liz Vacco. Assistant: Tricia Lyn Scott. Costumes: Sherise Shields. Makeup: Sage Maitri. Set Design and Construction: Joe Davidson.
With thanks to the parents of Quinn and Rex Rath – Jody Rath and Shannon McIntosh – for producing the video of this show.
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