MARY POPPINS Is High-Flying Fun At St. Luke's

MARY POPPINS Is High-Flying Fun At St. Luke's

St. Luke's United Methodist Church presents Disney's and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins which tells the story of the Banks family and the struggles, adventures, and transformations they endure as they live in the big city of London during the early 1900s. Mary Poppins runs select dates from August 9 through August 25 at St. Luke's (4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd. Orlando, FL 32819). Tickets are on sale now, starting at $15 at st.lukes.org/marypoppins.

The story begins with the Banks searching for a new nanny for their children, Jane and Michael, who are constantly stirring up trouble. It proves to be quite the challenge to find the right person for the job until a mysterious young woman named Mary Poppins appears at their doorstep. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and unforgettable adventures, but as the story unfolds it becomes clear that Jane and Michael are not the only ones in the Banks household in need of her wisdom and guidance. This playful musical reminds audience members of all ages that, "Anything can happen if you let it."

Mary Poppins delighted Broadway audiences for over 2,600 performances and received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. St. Luke's production, directed by Steve MacKinnon, is an enchanting mixture of heartwarming life lessons, unforgettable songs, spectacular special effects, and impressive dance numbers.

MacKinnon shared that, "Mary Poppins opened my eyes to my greatest calling in life, which was directing, when I was just a young boy. I fell in love with the movie and wore out my VHS as a child (secretly hoping Mary Poppins would come and save me). At ten years old, I directed my first production, in a neighbor's basement, which just happened to be Mary Poppins! I've come full circle now, with the privilege to be able to work on this production at St. Luke's, with both our church and theatre community, alongside 100 people of all ages in our cast and crew including our musicians and designers on a story that is so dear to my heart.

Mary Poppins arrives in the story as a blessing to the Banks family, restoring order, rescuing our characters from their misgivings, and then leaves when the time is right. Yet paradoxically, Mary represents something strange, inexplicable, and otherworldly. She instills a sense of surprise and the promise of adventure. It is through Mary Poppins that the children and our audiences are able to open their perspectives to the world around them, using imagination, intuition, and experience to discover some universal truths and the essence of humanity."

The cast features Shannon Starkey in the role of Mary Poppins, Spencer Morrow as Bert, Ralph Prentice Daniel as George Banks, and Danielle Lang as Winifred Banks. With Amy Martin Cole as the Bird Woman, Cami Miller as Miss Andrew, and Jataria Heyward as Miss Corry. Victoria Salisbury and Lily Van Zetten share the role of Jane Banks while Nathan Howard and Omari Pernell bring loveable Michael Banks to life.

St. Luke's Lead Pastor, The Rev. Jennifer Stiles Williams, noted that, "We need Mary Poppins to fly into our communities today and remind us to be responsible and care for what we have been entrusted with in our lives. This show helps us find fulfillment in our relationships with others and moves our focus away from things that provide a false sense of security. We need Mary Poppins to help us see that the woman feeding the birds is just as important and beloved as any of us. Mary Poppins is not about using sugar to gloss over the hard stuff, but helping us enter into difficult challenges with grace to give us new eyes to see one another."

Mary Poppins features a talented and diverse ensemble, full orchestra, and captivating illusions. MacKinnon is joined by John R. Mason, III (Music Director), Kim Ball (Choreographer), A.J. Garcia (Costume Coordinator), Alyx Jacobs and George Jackson (Lighting Design), Joe C. Klug (Scenic Designer), Anthony Narciso (Sound Designer), Lilly Hastings (Props Designer), Tiffany Lyn Meadows and Christine Kindred (Stage Management), and Aereography by Flying by Foy.

Mary Poppins is based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film with original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The script is written by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) with new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe and co-created by Cameron Mackintosh. Mary Poppins is presented through special arrangement with Musical Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI (www.MTIShows.com).



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