Supercailfragilisticexpialidocious- The Only Way to Describe Masque’s Mary Poppins


Annie Roebuck, News Editor

After watching Central and Oakland Catholic Masque’s spring production of Mary Poppins, one could not help but think it was “practically perfect!”!  In reality the show came together following three months of long nights of music and dance rehearsals and just a little bit of magic.  Mary Poppins truly came to life with one of its largest casts ever consisting of 64 students and dedicated and creative crew that worked tirelessly day and night.  The rights to Disney’s Mary Poppins were just released a few months prior to the production and it was not only one of the most ambitious but also exciting shows to put together.

According to Mary Poppins herself, Claire Jacob (’15), her greatest challenge was learning how to actually become the beloved nanny.  She explains “I had to learn how to be vivacious enough that there was an air of magic about me, but also stern and confident enough to intimidate the other characters on stage—one of Mary Poppins’ many talents.”

At the same time Claire asserts that she also loves showing Mary’s “soft side” toward the end of the show.  “Throughout the show [Mary] is nothing but strong, confident, witty, and fun but during one of the very last scenes, she shows the audience how much she loves the children and how badly she doesn’t want to leave.”  Michael Banks, played my Claire’s youngest brother Carson bids his beloved nanny goodbye and says “I love you Mary Poppins”.  Claire says, “this scene made me cry a bit almost every time we ran it because …it just hit home with me leaving for college next year and all. While it was sad, I loved being able to feel such raw emotions—my own emotions that develop my character on stage.”  When it came to flying high like a kite, Claire reflected on the experience saying, “Flying was certainly magical. It’s an art, honestly. You have to position yourself in very precise ways while in the harness and the crew members flying you have to make very specific movements in order for it to run smoothly.”  For sophomore Maura Ward, becoming the evil nanny Ms. Andrews better known as “the holy terror” was quite fun.  She says “I like to be really dramatic and a little crazy, so it was cool to be this person who is so exaggerated…Also flying was fun.”

The process of running the show with such a large cast was quite the challenge and “our choreographer, Ms. Sambolt designed dances of the same caliber of the professional “Mary Poppins” Broadway show. It is safe to say that the majority of kids in masque are nothing close to dancers but every single one of the 60 people in this show learned how to tap dance (and do it well, might I add) in a matter of weeks.”  When show week finally came around the cast left it all on the stage to say the least.  After performing “Step in Time”, the show’s most energetic number with tap-dancing chimney sweeps, Claire says “I re-encountered the reality that this is what we do it for: we work for hours and days and weeks and months in order to reach the heart of the person sitting in the corner seat of row X. You don’t know who they are, but those people sitting in the dark are who you light up the stage for.”  There is no doubt that the feeling following a performance like that can be nothing but supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!