Yes, I’ve been cast in the Sherman Theatricks production of Mary Poppins, and I’m having a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time! Tonight is opening night, yee-haw!
Some of y’all know that I’m also an actor/singer and that performing for me is brain candy that reduces stress and invigorates all other parts of my creative life. The more “creative schtuff” that I do, it seems that just feeds the muse. You can find out more about my “playing around” endeavors here. And when able to combine acting, singing, and PETS, what could be better!
Playing Multiple Roles in Mary Poppins–Meet Miss Lark!
That’s right, betcha didn’t know there’s a character in the cast who is dog-crazy. Gee, why did I get that role? LOL! Miss Lark carries around Willoughby, a small barky and very opinionated canine she treats like her child. (Oh gee, now that’s a stretch for moi as an actor…). I found a brilliant Yorkshire Terrier puppy puppet, from the paw-some folks at Folkmanis Puppets.
Miss Lark only appears in the first act. I’m fortunate to also be able to sing with the brilliant company in all the chorus numbers, too, many of them sung from backstage. But in the second act, it’s “evil nanny time” and I get to play the part of the polar opposite of Mary Poppins in the role of Miss Andrew.
Evil Meanies Offer Lots of Fun to Play!
The Tap-Dancing Chimney Sweep
Finally, all the extra hair comes off, and I get to pick up a broom to sing (and try to dance!) in the Step In Time number as a chimney sweep. Hey, it’s all about challenging ourselves with new things. There are some brilliant dancers and singers and actors in this show, and how kewl that I get to “play” alongside them? I have a feeling some of these experiences will go into a future book.
Actually, the next thriller has a scene in which my main character plays cello in the orchestra for Secret Garden (something I was pleased to do last year). In my world, EVERYTHING is material!
Here’s the details from the theater’s press release, so for those of you in the North Texas area, I hope to see you at the show. Make reservations quickly. We’re only performing two weekends, and the theater holds just barely 100 seats.
So…will I see you there? Please share and tell your friends, this is a delightful show–with FLYING, too!
Mary Poppins, the Story…
The story unfolds in 1910 England as the jack-of-all-trades, Bert, played by Rafe McConnell, narrates a tale of the troubled Banks family. Mr. and Mrs. Banks are played by Paul Jordan and Jennifer Becherer alongside Erica Romm as Jane Banks and Luke Rostyne as Michael Banks. Jane and Michael are naughty children who give the household staff and townspeople plenty of trouble. Kaitlyn Casmedes, Christina Childress, and Leigh Walker play household staff and the colorful town characters are played by Brandon Carnes, Lew Cohn, Drew Crocker, Ken Kozak, Bella Ortley-Guthrie, and Amy Shojai.
Mary Poppins, played by Amanda Ferguson, arrives on the Banks’ doorstep and uses magic and common sense to teach the family how to value one another. She takes the children and the audience on whimsical adventures where anything can happen. Characters they meet include Mrs. Corry, played by Leanne Duigan, and her children Annie and Fannie played by Andrea Bryson and Alivia Bryson; Neleus, played by Caleb Crocker, and the other lively statues in the park played by Brittani Crocker, Reagan Hayes, Allison Hill, and Queen Victoria, played by Logan Shurtleff. Amy Shojai reappears as Mr. Bank’s old nanny, Miss Andrew to shake things up further. Jane and Michael also learn important lessons about kindness and generosity from the Bird Woman, played by Heidi Scheibmeir and the life-size toys played by Charley Becherer, Molly Brown, MacKenzie Kozak, and Sarah McGinn.
The cast was selected in late July and has been working under the direction of Webster Crocker, choreographer Amy Wallace, vocal director Sylvia Rivers and Thomas Bryson. Costumes and make up are the creation and handiwork of Shelley Shurtleff, Tina Ross, Cheryl Hayes and Anne Schell. The show is accompanied by a 12 member orchestra conducted by Thomas Bryson.
Performance times are 7 p.m. on September 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19; and 2 p.m. on September 12, 13, 19 and 20. For reservations, call the Sherman Community Players box office at 903-892-8818 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday or visit the box office inside the Honey McGee Playhouse, 313 West Mulberry in Sherman during the same hours. Tickets are available for season members beginning Monday, September 7 and for all other beginning Tuesday, September 8.
Tickets are also available online at www.theatricks.org. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for students. 2015-2016 Season Memberships are available at the ticket office for $25 adult, $20 senior, and $18 student and include Mary Poppins, James and the Giant Peach, and The Boxcar Children.
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!