Editor’s Note: Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre (MVCCT) presents Mary Poppins October 30 through November 8, 2015. Fresh from Broadway, MVCCT is one of the first area theatres to present this beloved Disney classic. The all-student production take place at Bryant Alternative High School in Alexandria, VA. Featuring 48 talented area youth, this lively musical tells the story of the “practically perfect” nanny who brings order and joy, and a touch of magic, to the Banks household. The show has huge dance numbers to go with classic tunes: “Step In Time,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” “Jolly Holiday,” and others. Tickets are $12 each and available online at www.mvcct.org and at the door. Our reviewer Amy attended on opening night and has details and tips for you!
By Amy J. Holmes
Why you want to see this production:
It’s live! You’ve seen and loved the classic movie Mary Poppins. This is a chance to see the show live and in person with singing, dancing, and acting in an intimate setting. It’s a great family-friendly place to introduce your children to the theatre and bring them back to instill an appreciation for live shows.
The music. You get to hear your favorite songs sung by a very talented cast. “A Spoon Full of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee” are the ones I am still humming to around the house days after the show.
The show! MVCCT productions are for kids, by kids. The actors in this MVCCT musical are all children, aged 8-18. They come from all around the Northern Virginia area and are the best of the best. More than 200 children auditioned for approximately 50 roles to star in this musical production. All of the actors have an impressive resume of acting, singing and dancing experience, many returning from having acted in past productions and participating in MVCCT drama camps. Aidan White, who plays lead character Bert, is a freshman at T.C. Williams High School (my alma mater – yeah!). This is Aidan’s eleventh MVCCT show. He was certainly a standout with his incredible voice. No wonder, he has appeared in three operas with the Washington National Opera. Amanda Holsinger, a high school senior who played Mary Poppins, made her debut performance with MVCCT but has been performing for 11 years and has been in more than 25 shows. She, too, had an amazing voice and was a great Mary Poppins. They were supported by a large and spirited cast of impressive young actors with many years of acting experience. It is easy to forget that they are all such young actors! The costumes were professional grade and easily transported you back in time. The set was colorful, professional, and outstanding as always.
The Community. What I like most about going to community theater productions is the word community. Community theatre brings people together. We love running into our friends and neighbors and meeting new friends who share a love for theatre, and support the community and the arts. I love “unplugging” with my family for a few hours and experiencing a live production that the whole family can enjoy and appreciate. The show is entertaining and appropriate for children and adults of any age. I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to check out your next local community production and support your local theatre. This production is a great one to introduce your children to the theatre.
My 10 year old’s review: “I really liked how the actors made the doves. They put on white gloves and flapped their hands like wings, making their hands look like doves. Megan Warhurst (Jane) and Zack Collison (Michael) were very good actors. They had very good voices and memorized their lines. The costumes and background were great. I saw the professional production of Mary Poppins and it reminded me of seeing the musical in Florida. Our seats were much better here.
My 9 year old daughters’ review: “The musical was good. I ran into my best friend there and we got to sit together and watch the show.”
Amy’s Insider tips:
- The auditorium seating is fairly flat vs. stadium seating. If you find yourself seated behind a tall person and cannot see well, move to the back or the side.
- Bring a few dollars in cash with you. They have a well stocked snack bar with lots of great concessions for sale. There is also a raffle to benefit MVCCT and flowers for sale to give to your favorite cast members.
- Bring your scout troop. This is a great outing for girl (and boy) scout troops. We saw a few troops on opening night. Friday, Nov. 6 is the official scout night so you will see many troops in attendance (but scouts can attend on any day). Don’t forget to buy your scout fun patches for sale!
- Stick around after the show to meet the cast in the lobby, and get photos and autographs!
- Mark your calendars and plan to attend Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat April 1-10, 2016.
Photos provided by MVCCT