Mary Poppins Jr.
• St. Joseph Catholic School
• 703 N. Lapeer Rd. in Lake Orion
• Showtimes are 7 p.m. on May 11 and May 12.
• Tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults and are available at the door or online at www.school.stjoelo.org.
Call the school office at 248-693-6215 for information, questions about ordering tickets.
By Jim Newell
The soot-covered chimney sweeps will break into chorus as Mary Poppins flutters from the rooftops next week when the St. Joseph School Maverick Players present their rendition of Mary Poppins Jr.
Mary Poppins Jr. tells the beloved story of Mary Poppins, the practically perfect nanny, and her magical adventures with the Banks children at turn of the century London. Through music and adventure, Mary Poppins helps the neglected children become closer to their preoccupied parents.
The cast and crew – about 40 students from St. Joseph School and the religious education class – began rehearsals several weeks ago by learning the music and songs, then the choreography/dancing and were working on the blocking on Friday.
“We are at the part where we sew it all together like a nice pretty package,” said Director Kimberly Allen. “Now we’re starting to introduce some of the scenery. This is a big show for a middle school. We do the Mary Poppins Jr. version, but even the junior version has a lot of scenery and wardrobe changes and little nuances that you don’t normally see in junior plays.”
And there is still much to do before, as the saying goes, “The show must go on.”
“All the soloists are doing a great job with their cues,” said Co-Director Miriam Lynch, the music teacher at St. Joseph’s School. “I also like that there are big chorus numbers and we’re working on those.”
Actor Jacob Turner says he likes that he gets to work with friends and classmates on the musical.
“We get to put something together that everyone gets to have an important role in it. As the director says, there are no small parts. Everything is part of a bigger picture. So, I like being able to put something together that is fun for us and fun for other people to watch,” he said.
Aimee Doneth (7th grade) plays the umbrella twirling Mary Poppins; Jacob Turner (8th grade) plays Bert; Jake Baker (7th grade) plays Mr. Banks; Alexandra Spevetz (8th grade) portrays Mrs. Banks; Jane Banks is played by Bridget Galbraith (8th grade); and Athan Aretakis (7th grade) plays Michael Banks.
The musical is choreographed by Jennavieve Kujawski, with costume design by Mary Anne Wirth, and features a large ensemble and extra cast. All the scene changes and technical aspects are handled by St. Joseph students.
“My favorite part is just the excitement of it all, because when we’re preparing for everything you get to celebrate this wonderful thing with everyone else. It’s just amazing to see how it all comes together and the determination that everyone has,” lead actress Aimee Doneth said.
Bridget Galbraith loves singing and dancing and being with her friends.
“I really like doing the play because its stress-free, everyone here is like a family and the stage is like home to me,” she said.
“They definitely love to do the show and they ask about it. The big spring musical is the thing we do on Mother’s Day weekend, so they’re definitely excited,” Allen said.
“A play is really a collaborative effort between all the actors and crew.”