WESTFALL TWP. - Laughter and tears will be a likely response to the upcoming production of Mary Poppins at Delaware Valley High School. When curtains rise Friday, Theater Director Caroline Lehman said she hopes attendees will “cry and sob and giggle and laugh and cry and sob and giggle” when they see the young performers present the “magical” show.
A technical show, Lehman said this was the perfect year for this production because it’s the right cast for the tale, as well as a great choreographer, Melissa Thomas who has brought the cast “above and beyond” with the many dance numbers and incorporation of flying once again. Also, this being Lehman’s 27th year in the district, it was the show she wanted.
The story, Lehman said she believes, offers families a chance to reflect on their lives when they see the behavior of the “scoogie”-like father, Mr. Banks “learn to love” his family even more she said. Considering families today, Lehman said parents should realize the important of putting their families first.
Sarah Hawthorne to many, but Mary Poppins on stage, said she has always wanted to be the character, after watching Julie Andrews in the original movie because she appreciates Mary’s ability to “keep her cool” no matter the situation. In the story, Mary Poppins is able to maintain calm, even though the family she’s working for is in “shambles,” but by staying true to herself, she knows everyone will be okay. In reality, Hawthorne laughs because she’s able to stay calm, but not quite like her character.
To have such a personality, Hawthorne who is a senior, said it has been a “little daunting” since Mary Poppins is “legitimately perfect in every single way.” A week before the show, Hawthorne was pleased with how the show was coming along, praising the cast and crews’ continual hard work. As rehearsals have gone on, Hawthorne said everyone was finding the “truth” in their characters, which leads to a discovery of “passion,” but since this is her last DV production, it’s made the evolution a little “scary” but also “amazing.”
Hawthorne plans on pursuing theater and Mary Poppins, she said is the “perfect farewell character” for her, because of all the role encompasses and she anticipates an emotional ending to it all, when she flies away in the last scene. The story is “beautiful” and it’s the reason it continues to be known today. Acting, Hawthorne said she likes because she is able to tell stories and offer people a chance to “experience something that inspires them, that changes them, that moves them.”
All of the dancing, Hawthorne loves because she has yet to do a “dance heavy show” which has offered a “challenge” but also been a lot of fun she said. Its only been a year since Hawthorne started tap dancing, but she’s been dancing since she was a child, continuing on as she’s taken musical theater auditions for college. Hawthorne said everyone should come see Mary Poppins because “it’s going to be magical.”
A junior in reality, but Bert in the show, Ian Murch will be the leader of a chimney sweep clan. Murch described his character as the “leader” of people who gathers on the rooftops of London. Bert is a lot of “fun” to be, because he is happy about everything, including dust. Murch described being so happy as “freeing” because Bert is so “merry” and he has been able to leave life at the door and just be happy.
While the dancing has been a task, requiring continual repetition, Murch said he is loving it all, despite the initial uncertainty, in part because it differs from the movie. It’s the “interaction” of the characters in the show, that Murch described as “cute” because although Mary Poppins is “stern,” she is understanding and “soft” with the children, while his character offers the comic relief. A week before show time, Murch was a bit nervous, but more excited because he’s ready to get on stage and perform.
Lehman concluded by saying people should come see the DV production of Mary Poppins because visually the show will be great, but even more because attendees will “see the magic and believe in magic, because we brought the magic.”
Note: There were no members of the crew available to talk while The News Eagle was at DV for this story, otherwise a member or two would have been invited to comment for the story.
Mary Poppins will run at Delaware Valley High School Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 28th at 2 p.m.