Musicals at Richter’s Summer Youth Musical Theater Presents
“Mary Poppins Jr.” August 15-17
Musicals at Richter (MAR), now in its 35th season as the longest-running outdoor theater in Connecticut, concludes its 2019 offerings with Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins Jr.,” performed by students from its Summer Youth Musical Theater Workshop. Staged on the grounds of the Richter House Arts Center in Danbury, performances take place outdoors under the stars at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, August 15-17.
Adapted from the award-winning Broadway musical and beloved Disney film, “Mary Poppins Jr.” introduces us to the Banks family in 1910 London as their world is turned upside down by new nanny Mary Poppins. Using a combination of magic and common sense, Mary Poppins must teach the Banks family members how to value each other again. She takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "anything can happen if you let it."
With music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman and additional songs by George Stiles and Andrew Drewe, the score includes as "Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Practically Perfect,” “Jolly Holiday," "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Feed the Birds," "Step in Time," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Let's Go Fly a Kite," and many more engaging songs.
Directed by Jen Yates McPartlin (New Fairfield) and choreographed by Tori Kuffler (Danbury), “Mary Poppins Jr.” features a talented cast of more than 20 young area performers. Aaliyah Frank (Danbury) portrays the mysteriously magical Mary Poppins and Hannah McGuire (Bethel) is Mary’s chimney sweep friend Bert. Madison Montelione (New Fairfield) and Isabelle Stein (Danbury) play Jane and Michael Banks, and Morwenna Zarba (Danbury) and Alana Ferreira (New Milford) are the children’s parents WInifred and George Banks.
Olivia Scherer and Dylan Robinson-D’Imperio (both of Danbury) portray the Banks’ housekeeper Mrs. Brill and servant Robinson Ay, respectively. Sara Heinen (Sandy Hook) takes on the role of the Bird Woman; VitaBella Mellaci (Brookfield) is Mrs. Corry, the magic sweet shop owner; and Curtis Rodriguez (Danbury) plays Miss Andrew, George Banks’ overbearing and scary childhood nanny.
Rounding out the company in a variety of singing and dancing roles are: Izzy Ferro (Brewster, NY); Claire Calomeni, Tatiana Frouge, Fallon Rivard, Jenna Saltzman, Jack Scherer and Aviana Steele (Danbury); Chloe Adams and Magdalena Nusbacher (New Fairfield); and Ava Squeglia (New Milford).
The creative team also includes as music director Angela Klimaytis and set designer RJ Bogues. Costumes are by Donald BIrely; lighting and sound design are by Ryan Evans and Jose Alves, respectively.
Production staff includes: Jack Armstrong, Andrew Cadmus, Robert Fontenelli, Vincent Fontenelli, Kris Heyel, Molly Tarnowski and Erik Wallin.
“Mary Poppins Jr.” is performed at the Richter House Arts Center (next to the Richter Park Golf Course, I-84, Exit 2), 100 Aunt Hack Road, in Danbury. Tickets for this summer youth performance cost $15 for adults, $10 for seniors/students (with I.D.) and $5 for children 10 and under, and may be purchased through the Musicals at Richter website (www.musicalsatrichter.org) or at the door. Grounds open at 7 p.m. for picnicking, with curtain at 8:00 p.m. Audience members are invited to bring their own blankets or chairs for lawn seating; a limited number of chairs are available free-of-charge. A soft drink/snack concession is on-site.
Photo credit David Henningsen Photography.