Bird Woman from Mary Poppins

Starship
Leading Actor
joined:7/29/12
Bird Woman from Mary Poppins
Posted: 8/8/13 at 01:04pm
Hi there!

I had a quick question I was hoping someone someone could answer for me.

In most productions of Mary Poppins, the Bird Woman usually only plays that track in the show. I was wondering why this was so as it's such a small role, and in Feed the Birds she doesn't sing most of the song, Mary does.

In the newer productions of the show, Bird Woman also plays Miss Andrew, which makes more sense.

Thanks!
operavore
Swing
joined:7/19/13
Bird Woman from Mary Poppins
Posted: 8/8/13 at 02:05pm
Although I don't have an answer, I'd also just like to throw in another configuration from a production that I just saw- the Bird Woman was in the ensemble for the rest of the show while Mrs. Corry played Miss Andrews.
ullabelt
Stand-by
joined:3/26/06
Bird Woman from Mary Poppins
Posted: 8/8/13 at 02:15pm
A lot of it comes down to logistics with age etc. An older actress will often not be physically able to meet the demands of the ensemble seven shows a week.

As time goes on and the producers become somewhat less concerned about the overall quality i.e. they will cut corners or downscale things - well it makes sense to have the Bird Woman double. Whats sad about this is that there is something really beautiful about having an older actress in the role but if she needs to meet the vocal demands of Miss Andrew also...the role is going to be aged down a bit.

I suppose the answer to WHY is because it works better artistically and that they have enough money that they CAN.