Based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s youth musical “Mary Poppins Jr.” comes to Pleasanton’s historic Amador Theater for a holiday run from December 14 through 23.
Presented by the City of Pleasanton’s Civic Arts Stage Company, the production promises “an uplifting show that’s perfect for the holidays,” notes Director Amber Dyson. “… an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, and breath-taking dance numbers.” With the requisite touch of magic, plus heart-warming and heart-changing messages, Mary Poppins indeed fits the holiday bill.
Show times and tickets: Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:00 p.m. Reserved seat tickets are $12, $15, $18; discounted tickets for children age 12 and under, or Senior 62+ are $7, $10, $13. Tickets can be purchased online at www.firehousearts.org, by calling 925-931-4848, and in person at the Firehouse Arts Center Box Office, 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton. NOTE: Amador Theater is located at 1155 Santa Rita Road in Pleasanton, with free parking available in the adjacent lots.
The story: Bert, the beloved jack-of-all trades, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. The Banks children, Jane and Michael, have sent many a nanny packing before the mysterious Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members 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 upon whom she has a profound effect. Even the grown-ups learn a few lessons from the nanny who advises that “anything can happen if you let it.”
The ensemble members range in age from 10 through high school. Actors auditioned with a monologue and song back in late September and early October. All were placed in the cast, and some were subsequently invited to “call-backs” to test for specific characters on October 4th. And rehearsals began mid-October, 3 hours per session, 3 times a week.
Mary Poppins Jr is presented by two casts, as is usual in Civic Arts Theater productions: The Bird Cast is 35 actors, and the Kite Cast is 36 actors, averaging 10 more per cast than most other productions. Dyson notes that the Amador Theater venue is a perfect fit for the large ensembles required to pull off the show.
In addition to Director Amber Dyson, the enthusiastic production team includes: Choreographer – Meredith Fox; Music Director – Evan Crone; Stage Manager – CC Gruber; Costumer – Patricia Austin. Sets and props for the show are courtesy of Poison Apple Productions.