‘Mary Poppins - In Concert’: A magical delight!
The delightfully magical Mary Poppins, every child’s wished -for nanny, will be arriving at the Lincoln Theater this weekend — east wind or no east wind.
The Lincoln County Community Theater's (LCCT) production “Mary Poppins - In Concert,” a musical based on the books written by P.L. Travers, opens this Friday, March 17.
The show features the original music and songs — and a few that may not be as familiar — by a stellar troupe of adult and child actors, many from the Boothbay region and Wiscasset.
This musical is set around the turn of the 20th century in London — 17 Cherry Tree Lane to be exact (as Bert the Chimney sweep would tell ya). After attending the cast’s first full rehearsal March 12 I can tell you this show is an absolute delight! The voices are strong, the characterizations spot on, and the energy contagious.
It’s important to remember that “Mary Poppins - In Concert’ isn’t soley based on Disney’s interpretation so you might be surprised by some of the personality differences between the original book characters and Disney’s. For example, Mrs. Banks isn’t a suffragette. she’s a former actress; her children, Jane and Michael, really are a handful, not quite as well-behaved and sweet; and Mr. Banks is all about appearance and social climbing ... until “that Poppins woman” enters their lives.
Audiences will be transported to Cherry Tree Lane, and other Poppins locations through the creatively clever use of a huge picture frame on the set. The entire 33-member cast will be seated on stage with primary characters stepping up into the footlights.
Familiar dialogue is interspersed with songs, including some that may be unfamiliar such as “Temper Temper,” a slightly dark little number sung by the toys in the nursery as a caution to Michael to curb his. Most of the songs, however, are the familiar ones we all know so well, in fact, it may be hard not to sing along!
From the first song, “Chim, Chim, Cher-ee” to “Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious” to “Step in Time” and the moving plea for the need of charity in “Feed the Birds,” you will be transported into the imaginative world of P.L. Travers, and, I daresay, back to your own childhood. The tuneful cast that will take you there are: Victoria Hamilton – Mary “practically perfect” Poppins, Roosevelt Bishop – Bert, Joel Biron – George Banks, Emily Mirabile – Winifred Banks, Emerson Harris – Jane Banks, Andrew Lyndaker – Michael Banks, Laurie Brown - Katie Nana & Mrs. Corry, Zora Margolis - Mrs. Brill & Rag Doll, Andy Barber – Constable, Valentine & Northbrook, Ben Proctor – Robertson Ay, Mr. Punch & Von Hussler, Mark Hamilton – Bank Chairman, Natalie Norris – Miss Smythe, Jan Marie – Bird Woman, Nina Tilander – Miss Andrew.
Victoria Hamilton is just as perfect (note I didn’t say practically perfect) as Mary. The Wiscasset actress says she learned to say supercali, supercal, — well, you know the one — in about 45 minutes while listening to a tape in her car. Quite a triumph I do say! Her voice is clear and strong, her accent impeccable.
Robo Bishop. What can I say? He is a delight as Bert, the chimney sweep, chalk artist, and Mary’s old friend. He, too, is strong of voice, and has the gift of being able to sing it like he’s sayin’ it, if you know what I mean, guv’nor? I think there may be a bit of Bert in Mr. Bishop naturally.
With many creds under their theatrical belts, scene stealers Andrew Lyndaker and Emerson Harris are perfectly cast as those trying Banks children. Whether they are singing or acting you will be charmed and disarmed.
In addition to her role as Winifred Banks, Emily Mirabile (oh that voice!) is also the show’s choreographer. The youth dancers in “Step in Time” and “Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious” are none other than members of the Y-ARTS Voice Studio: Jordan Chamness, Ronan Cullina, Elizabeth Harriman, Sarah Harris, Spencer Pottle and Sophia Scott.
The splendid Spit Spot Singers - Bridget Alexander, Andy Barbaer, Kernan Cross, Terry Beal, Barbara Belknap, Laurie Brown, Kay Campbell, Lynn Drewette, Sarah Duggan, Clara Fagan, Andrew Fenniman, Mark Hamilton, Sally Hamilton, Elizabeth Harriman, Melanie Hodgdon, Tracy Kapocious, veteran actor Zora Margolis, Jan Marie, Caitlin Paul, Jen Paul, Ellis Percy, Ruth Perry, Aloisia Pollack, Derek Webber, Lucy Smith, Wendell Stephenson and Emily Savadge — are, well, supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!
Music Director John Mulcahy also conducts The Poppins Pops: Sean Fleming and Marcia Gallagher, keyboards; Missy Vigue, Kookie McNerney, Marguerite Levin, reeds; Loren Fields, Emily Widdoes, horns; Ryan LePage, trumpet; Alan Carr, trombone; Shannon Allen, cello; Kinnon Church, bass; and Mark Fredericks, percussion.
... “Winds in the east, there's a must comin' in. Like somethin' is brewin', And ’bout to begin ...”
That “must” (in this case!) is LCCT’s “Mary Poppins - In Concert” to begin Friday, March 17 and continue through Sunday, March 19. Call the box office for tickets: 207-563-3424.