A "Supercalifragilistic" Middle School Production of Mary Poppins JR was "Expialidocious!"
From beginning to end, the Sayville Middle School’s Musical Mary Poppins JR was a “jolly ‘oliday with Mar-ee!’” It had all the favorite characters from Mary Poppins to multitalented-tradesman Bert, from the high-spirited children Jane and Michael Banks to, of course, their father, George Banks. The sets were enchanting (especially the letter-fluttering fireplace and the self-organizing dish cupboard) and the props and backdrop were fabulous. Each night, audiences were treated to the charming story of Mary Poppins and her transformative influence; and each night the enjoyable musical performances of the cast and the behind-the-scenes efforts of the crew earned standing ovations.
When Mary pops into the unhappy home of George and Winifred Banks, she knows what to do to teach the children and the adults to believe in themselves. Eighth grader Nadia Moosa was magical as Mary Poppins. With her lovely singing voice, her spot-on British accent, along with her perfectly timed quips and witticisms, she was marvelous as Mary. Nadia was, indeed Practically Perfect in all her singing and dancing numbers.
Loveable and trustworthy Bert was in the capable hands and voice of Liam Donovan (eighth grader) who sang (Chim Chim Cheree, Jolly Holiday, Step In Time) and performed his way into audiences’ hearts as Mary’s long-time friend.
Ryan Walker (sixth grade) as Michael and Madison Hahn (sixth grade) as Jane were excellent in their singing (Perfect Nanny, Jolly Holiday, A Spoonful of Sugar, Anything Can Happen) and acting roles. This dynamic duo portrayed the rambunctious siblings with comic energy. It was endearing to watch their characters learn from Mary both how to behave and how to connect with their uptight father.
The lead role of London Banker George Banks was well played by sixth grader Henry Reiss, especially in such musical numbers as Cherry Tree Lane, A Man has Dreams. Pivotal to the story, George is a lost boy who grows into a standoffish father afraid to let down his guard, until both Mary and his children open his eyes and heart to the preciousness of time with family.
Seventh grader Haley d’Ambrosio fittingly infused her role as the demure model wife Winifred Banks trying to support her husband (Cherry Tree Lane, Anything Can Happen) as his troublesome business dealings and social aspirations begin to fail.
Often part of singing ensemble numbers, Alexandra Sullivan (seventh grade) played Mrs. Brill—the housekeeper—with splendid comedic sass and spunk. Audiences laughed as Brill bristled in frustration about her chores and the children and especially the houseboy Roberts.
Roberts—the bumbling, forgetful houseboy who is always the target of Mrs. Brill’s irritation—was amusingly portrayed with comic antics by sixth grader Jake Campbell.
So many wonderful musical numbers highlighted the ancillary characters, such as Neleus the statue who comes to life—thanks to Lizzie Holahan (seventh)—to sing and dance with Mary and company In Jolly Holiday; in Feed the Birds, Harper DeVerna (eighth) was haunting as the Bird Woman; the song Precision and Order joined the voices of Andrew Thiakodemetris (seventh), Levi Farmer (eighth), Vincent Fontanetta (seventh); Ali Burke (eighth) and company raised the house with their amazing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious; and Kylie Miller (sixth) as the “Holy Terror—the traumatizing nanny of George’s youth—was powerful in Brimstone and Treacle.
Of course, nods go to Scarlett Reilly as first Nanny Katie Nana and the entire ensemble of singers and dancers in their outstanding costumes, the stage crew, and directors (Kim DuFrenoy-Director/Choreographer, Fred Diekmann-Musical Director, Ari L. Kramer-Producer/Lighting, Joseph Albanese-Sound, and Chris Kenyon-Set Construction) who brought the world of Edwardian England to vibrant life.
This Savyille Middle School production “raised the curtain” (to borrow from the lyrics) and underscored the positive theme in Mary Poppins JR, that Anything Can Happen If You let It. Congratulations to all!
To view hundreds of photos, click on this PHOTO ALBUM LINK. Don't forget to click on the subpages for Wednesday's Rehearsal and Friday's performance.