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MARY POPPINS to be presented by FESTIVAL THEATRE in Summer 2015

Everyone’s favorite practically perfect nanny takes the stage in this Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical adventure.

One of the most popular Disney movies of all time is capturing hearts in a whole new way: as a practically perfect musical! Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, MARY POPPINS delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,500 performances and received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony® Awards, including Best Musical.

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren’t the only ones she has a profound effect upon. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “anything can happen if you let it.”

ACT ONE

Bert, the Chimney Sweep, introduces us to Cherry Tree Lane (Chim Chim Cher-ee/Cherry Tree Lane). He stops in front of Number 17 where Jane and Michael Banks are constantly misbehaving. Katie Nana, the latest in a long line of nannies, has had enough. Mr. Banks asks his wife to place an advertisement in the newspaper for a nanny, but the children take matters into their own hands and write their own ad (The Perfect Nanny). Just as Mr. Banks is about to leave for work, Mary Poppins arrives; she fits the children’s requirements exactly. Mary Poppins is strict but fair; she keeps the children focused with a combination common sense and magic (Practically Perfect).

Against their wishes, Mary Poppins takes the children on a walk to the nearby park. There they meet Bert, who is busy creating his latest works of art. Bored with the park and wary of Bert’s ragged clothes, the children try to escape their new nanny. Mary Poppins urges them to look beneath the surface of every day life to see the magic there; suddenly the parks bursts into brilliant colors and the statues come to life and dance with them (Jolly Holiday).

The Banks children are not the only ones feeling out of place. Back at Number 17, Mrs. Banks senses that she is a disappointment to both her husband and children. She decides to throw a party for the “right sort of people”, but longs for the days when she was an actress on the London stage (Being Mrs. Banks).  The household prepares for Mrs. Banks’ party (A Spoonful of Sugar), but even with a dose of magic from Mary Poppins, no one shows up.  Mrs. Banks is left feeling more lost than ever.

Mary Poppins takes Jane and Michael on a trip to visit their father’s office at the bank (Precision and Order). Mr. Banks is busy meeting with loan applicants, including a conniving businessman named Herr Von Hussler and the honest factory builder, John Northbrook. An innocent question from Jane prompts Mr. Banks to remember the ideals and values he once held (A Man Has Dreams). He decides to take a chance on Mr. Northbrook and gives him the loan.

On the way home from the bank, the children and Mary Poppins run into the Bird Woman, feeding the birds in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Jane is still worried about outer appearances and shuns the beggar woman, but Michael gives the Bird Woman money (Feed the Birds).

Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael and Bert meet Mrs. Corry, the mysterious owner of an unusual “talking shop,” where people purchase words, along with gingerbread. The children are surprised to hear that Mrs. Corry knew their father when he was a boy (Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious).

Things begin to go very wrong for Mr. Banks. Von Hussler goes to another bank and makes millions, and Mr. Banks is held responsible and suspended without pay. Under great stress, he yells at the children. In turn, Jane and Michael are furious with their father and in their anger, fight over their toys. The toys magically come to life to teach the children a lesson they will never forget (Playing the Game). Understanding that the children still have a lot to learn, Mary Poppins decides to depart, leaving them a note that reads, “Au Revoir,” or “Till We Meet Again.”

ACT TWO

The house is bustling again, this time because a nanny is returning to No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane. However, the visitor is Miss Andrew, Mr. Banks’ old nanny, and not Mary Poppins. Miss Andrew is a cruel and harsh woman who believes that children should be punished on a regular basis (Brimstone and Treacle). In a panic, the children escape the house and run to the park where they meet Bert, who explains that the cure for every ill can be found at the end of a kite string (Let’s Go Fly a Kite). Their kite flies up into the London sky and when it returns, Mary Poppins is on the other end. She returns home with them and defeats Miss Andrew in an epic battle. Mr. Banks has also been hiding from Miss Andrew (Good for Nothing), and is relieved to see Mary Poppins again.

Whisked up to the rooftops, Mary Poppins, Jane and Michael meet Bert and his fellow chimney sweeps (Step in Time). The sweeps dance through the house, giving good luck to Mr. Banks by shaking his hand as they go.

Mr. Banks’ boss, the Bank Chairman, wishes to see Mr. Banks immediately. Mr. Banks fears the worst, but Bert reminds him that his family is more important that his ambitions (A Man Has Dreams/A Spoonful of Sugar Reprise). Mr. Banks leaves for the bank and Mrs. Banks wishes she could go with him. Mary Poppins and the children encourage her to do what she believes in (Anything Can Happen If You Let It).

At the Bank, Mr. Banks defends his actions in front of the Board of Directors, who tell him that he was right all along: Herr Von Hussler’s schemes have fallen through and their competition is ruined, while Northbrook’s factories have made a healthy profit. They promote Mr. Banks, who tells them that, from now on, his family comes first.  With her job complete, Mary Poppins leaves to help another family in need. Although Jane, Michael and their parents are sad to see her go, they are glad they have once again found each other.
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