Students at Green Valley High School are working to put on a production of “Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical” that is practically perfect in every way.
“It’s such a giant show,” said Jennifer Hemme, the show’s director. “We found out in the spring and have been preparing since.”
With original choreography, British accents and, of course, a little magic, students have been working hard to bring this production to life.
“We are working to make Mary Poppins fly and Bert walk on the wall just like in the movie,” Hemme said. “We’re not sure how it’s going to work, but it’s going to happen.”
The play is scheduled at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31 and Feb. 1, 6, 7 and 8 and at 1 p.m. Feb. 1 inside the theater at Green Valley High School, 460 Arroyo Grande Blvd.
Tickets are $15.
Mary Poppins, which is based on a book series that became a movie in 1964, is the story of the magical nanny who is in one word, Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious — also one of the many popular songs from the musical.
The movie then inspired a 2006 Broadway production that ran until 2013.
Now it is about to arrive at Green Valley High School, which is the pilot program for the show.
This is the fourth time the school has been chosen by Disney to present the nationwide high school premiere of a major musical production.
When the school put on “Camp Rock” in 2013, Hemme said the author came to the show, and the students were able to give feedback about how the production is tailored to high school.
To better capture the spirit of the musical, Hemme has been encouraging her students to go in depth with learning their characters.
Alexa Freeman, who plays Mary Poppins; Alex Rusche, who plays Mr. Banks; and Josh Wride, who plays Bert, said they have enjoyed the experience of preparing for the roles.
“I’m not sure how other schools do it, but that’s what sets our productions apart,” Wride said. “We really get into our characters.”
Freeman said she has been studying British dialects and listening to the cast recordings trying to get her accent down.
“Even in class I’m standing taller and trying to act more proper like (Mary Poppins) would,” she said.
Wride said it could be too easy to emulate Dick Van Dyke’s take on the character Bert from the movie, but he is trying to make the character his own.
After the release of “Saving Mr. Banks,” which follows the struggles of P.L. Travers, the writer of Mary Poppins, the group saw it, hoping to dive into the mind behind the story.
“It helped give insight on how the author wanted the characters to be,” Rusche said.
He said since Mr. Banks, whom he is playing, is based Travers’ father, it helped to dive into her mind and understand his persona better.
From memorable songs such as “Jolly Holiday” to a warm-hearted story line, Rusche said there is something in the musical for everyone.
“It is an important story of family,” he added.
In addition to the show, the theater department plans to host a Supercalifragilistic Tea, a Mary Poppins-themed tea party, at 10:30 a.m. Feb 1.
Participants are slated to learn choreography from the original Broadway production. The event is also to include appearances by characters from the production and other activities.
Tickets for the event will be $40 and include a show ticket.
For more information, visit gvhstheatre.com.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5201.