FRIDAY 5 (+1) Returns on Tuesday: MARY POPPINS' Crystal Kurek
Actress Crystal Kurek returns to a role some contend she was destined to play since birth, as she stars as the eponymous "practically perfect" nanny in Disney and Cameron Macintosh's Mary Poppins, opening this Friday night at Springhouse Theater in Smyrna. And who better than Crystal to help us bring another season of the Friday 5(+1) series back to BroadwayWorld Nashville?
She's played Mary Poppins once before, for Hendersonville Performing Arts Center, and she has recently been onstage at The Larry Keeton Theatre in Winter Wonderettes and at Actors Pointe Theatre Company for their production of My Fair Lady.
Today, in anticipation of her next opening night Crystal Kurek offers some insight into her passion for musical theater, in general, and for Mary Poppins, in particular - in hopes of encouraging audiences to get tickets quickly for Springhouse's recreation of the timeless tale of the estimable nanny with a bag of tricks unlike any other ever seen:
What was your first "live, onstage" taste of theater? My first taste of theater was as a Siamese child in The King and I with Shirley Jones at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. She was and still is one of my favorite singing actresses, and I was star struck. Not only that, but being in that beautiful setting filled me with a passionate love for the theater that is still undiminished after all these years.
What is your favorite pre-show ritual? I like to listen to the original soundtrack of the show I'm in while I'm driving. It helps me get in the mood and reminds me of how much I love the show and how blessed I am to be a part of it. Sometimes I get bogged down with details and trying to make everything "perfect," so this helps me to remember the big picture, how wonderful this material is and what a privilege it is to help bring it to life.
What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? Hmmm, maybe when I was playing Mary Poppins at Hendersonville Performing Arts Company and the measuring tape wasn't there to come out of the bag (that only happened once). I don't even remember what I said to keep going, but somehow we kept going and it worked out! It always does.
What's your dream role? I'm so blessed to have been able to play several of my dream roles, including Mary Poppins. But, I would still love to play Julie Jordan in Carousel and Guinevere in Camelot.
Who's your theatrical crush? Julie Andrews!
Why should people come see MARY POPPINS? Mary Poppins has it all: humor, heart, beautiful songs, wonderful choreography, a bit of magic...what more could a person ask for?
About MARY POPPINS
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 stage musical. Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's 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 (played by Michael Adcock), introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael (Shelby Baltimore and Jackson Kinsey star as the mischievous siblings) have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins (Crystal Kurek) 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 grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it."
Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's MARY POPPINS is described as "an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers and astonishing stagecraft." Show Dates September 14 at 7:30 p.m.; September 15 at 7:30 p.m.; September 21 at 7:30 p.m.; September 22 at 7:30 p.m.; September 28 at 7:30 p.m.; September 29 at 7:30 p.m.; and September 30 matinee at 3:30 p.m. at Springhouse Worship and Arts Center, 14119 Old Nashville Highway, in Smyrna.
Margaret Meeks directs a cast that includes Crystal Kurek as Mary Poppins, Michael Adcock as Bert, Greg Henry as Mr. Banks, Kristina James as Mrs. Banks, and Shelby Baltimore and Jackson Kinsey as Jane and Michael Banks. T. Josiah Haynes and Kathleen Caldwell are assistant directors, with Charlotte Myhre as stage manager, Allison Hall as musical director and Elizabeth Krebs as choreographer.