Sunday, February 21, 2016

Corvallis High School performs "Mary Poppins"

The crowd made their way to their seats, the lights dimmed, and the magic began.

This last weekend Corvallis High School put on the production of "Mary Poppins". Showings began Thursday and ended Sunday afternoon, Feb. 21.

When the auditorium went dark, the spotlight was directed to the stage where onlookers were welcomed in song by Bert, played by Daniel Abbes. Abbes was a part of the “Jolly” cast; one of two casts chosen for the production. For each performance, certain members of the cast, as well as the ensemble group, were replaced by understudies to give them rest between their other performances.

When Mary Poppins flew in with her magical, black umbrella, gasps of excited children filled the room. Amazed by the power this young nanny possessed they watched with their eyes wide with curiosity. Mary Poppins was played by Brenna McCulloch.

McCulloch, Abbes, as well as the ensemble groups have been rehearsing for this production of Mary Poppins since early September. The rest of the cast joined rehearsal in November to start putting the show together.

The musical was accompanied by live music directed by Jim Martinez. The orchestra consisted of piano, keyboard, guitar, percussion, flute, English horn, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone.

The crowd clapped and sang along with the orchestra and ensemble as they sang the well-known songs such as “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Practically Perfect,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” “Step in Time,” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Corvallis High School theater program does not limit their cast members to just high school students. They are more like a "community theater."

Their website read, "This is not just a high school program." 

The director of the show, Laura Beck-Ard graduated from the University of Louisville with a Master of Fine Arts in theatre. She has been a professional actress since 1998, but has been directing plays on her own since 1991.

“I’m very proud of all of the actors,” said Beck-Ard.

In the words of Mary Poppins, Beck-Ard summed up the overall performance as, “Practically perfect.”

-Attended Feb. 21, 2016
-Director: Laura Beck-Ard
-Four performance nights
-Two casts; Jolly and Holly

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