It seems that Mary Poppins has only just arrived, yet she is already making preparations to fly away again. Until the wind changes, I plan on thoroughly enjoying a few more jolly holidays with the fantastic cast comprising the current production at the Youngstown Playhouse.
Mary and I go way back. When I was a little girl visiting Disney World for the first time, all I wanted was a Mary Poppins doll. She traveled home with me and has never left my heart since our first meeting twenty years ago. As I have re-read the P.L. Travers books in preparation for this role, I can see why this magical character has entered the lives of so many and positively impacted readers and audiences alike. There is nothing better than knowing you’ve made a small impact on a community, and although time together may be fleeting, memories stay forever.
There are not many Broadway productions that I have seen more than once, but Mary Poppins is the exception to that rule. The story of familial redemption, as well as the timeless music of the Sherman brothers, manages to connect with you wherever you are in life’s journey. I remember first seeing the show on a high school choir trip to the city and spontaneously bursting into tears during the eleven o’clock number, “Anything Can Happen,” which provides an incredibly stirring call to action for anyone pondering dreams of the future:
Anything can happen,
Raise the curtain.
Things you thought impossible
Will soon seem certain…
Sally forth the way we’re steering.
Obstacles start disappearing.
Go and chase your dreams, you won’t regret it.
Anything can happen, if you let it.
Yes, the lyrics may be quite blunt, but the point definitely gets across and allows self-doubts to be erased in a moment of euphoria. It is one of my favorite moments of the show – nothing beats an entire cast singing with full voices, warm hearts, and open arms stretched toward the heavens. If we are doing our job right, the audience is with us among the stars, too.
My summer experiences aptly prepared me to take on a myriad of duties within this production, and while the tech challenges of this show were legion, our team pulled it off with Poppins aplomb. All the while, our staunch ensemble handled fast-paced rehearsals and tackled a wide range of choreography with unfailing enthusiasm and amazing dedication. This show soars due to the efforts of many, and I am so grateful for the chance to be part of the magic.
Until the wind changes…
From Mary Poppins, with a good deal of love.