No matter your age or status in life, Mary Poppins stirs up good vibes and memories for most people.
The North Platte High School drama and music department production of the stage musical opens Thursday at 7 p.m. with subsequent performances on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available online at showtix4u.com/events/14927/?event=70345&date=186156.
Carly Purdy is cast in the role of Mary and Joshua San Miguel as Bert. The story is about Mary Poppins who visits a dysfunctional family in London and works to improve the family’s dynamic.
The stage musical was originally produced in 2006.
“This musical has been around only for the last couple decades, so it’s a newer production,” San Miguel said. “Bert is very energetic. Everything he does has to be super focused and have a ton of energy put into it. He’s very much an optimist and he’s just a happy person overall.”
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San Miguel is a senior and has been involved in other musical productions through his four years at NPHS. This role takes him into a different vein from previous productions, one of which he played an anxious teenager who was sad about leaving his home for the last time.
“This year I’m going to a character who’s just happy old Bert,” San Miguel said. “It’s challenging, but I’ve enjoyed being able to put that happiness into the character.”
Purdy said the flying apparatus was a bit scary the first time she practiced it.
“Back last Octoberish, my mom (Leah Purdy, director) and I sat down and kind of talked about it,” Purdy said. “I was telling her we can’t do Mary Poppins without flying.”
Purdy said her mom jumped through all the hoops and found a reputable company that set up the system.
“They trained us on the harnesses and stuff and they were telling me like, ‘OK Mary, you’re flying first,” Purdy said. “I was like, ‘oh my gosh.’ I was so scared.”
The company told her she was going to start at one point on the stage and fly up and off into the curtain.
“I was like, OK, I mean that’s kind of high, I don’t know,” Purdy said. “They took it slow with me, but it’s not scary at all. It’s actually really fun. I like it.”
Mary Poppins, Purdy said, is someone she probably would look up to because of the strengths she has.
“She’s very put together, she knows exactly what she wants to do,” Purdy said. “She knows exactly how to help the kids to be like in ‘tip-top shape,’ as she would say.”
San Miguel said his favorite scene is the “A Man Has Dreams/Spoonful of Sugar” reprise, which happens later in the musical. He said he enjoys it because it’s a duet between San Miguel and his real life best friend.
“But, if I were to say the scene that I think people will enjoy the most and I think is going to be the biggest crowd pleaser, it would be ‘Step in Time,’ which is a fun one,” San Miguel said. “We’ve got some pretty cool tech going on to make everything work. It’s also exciting dancing, it’s a fun one.”
Purdy likes the scene with the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
“That scene is so fun; like the song is so fun,” Purdy said. “Our choreographer did an amazing job of putting the choreography together. It’s very pleasing to the eye.”
She said the cast put in a lot of hard work on that scene.
“And it’s just famous, it’s a famous song and everybody knows that song,” Purdy said. “It’s one of those songs that gets stuck in your head. We’re singing it at school the next day because it’s stuck in our heads.”
Purdy said the show is 98% positive, but there is some difficulty experienced by the character George.
“Obviously, he goes through this really hard time in the show. He kind of takes that out on his wife and his kids,” Purdy said. “But Mary and Bert are always there to like, no, you let him figure this stuff out and we’re going to take care of you guys and we’re going to put all of our time and energy into you guys and getting you guys where you need to be.”
She said that by the end of the show, there is “a full 180 in George and everything just kind of falls right into place and it’s like the perfect ending.”
Leah Purdy and Brittany McDaniel direct the show.