The news came via an email to OCP Production Committee Vice-Chair Joanne Morovitz, who had eagerly checked each day for the coveted rights to do this show. A smash hit on Broadway, this familiar musical has become hugely popular and somewhat nostalgic for those who recall first seeing the movie version in 1964. OCP was uncertain that the rights would be granted to the group, so they billed the winter musical on the season ticket brochure simply as “A High-Flying Musical,” with the hopes that musical would be Mary Poppins.
The Broadway version of Mary Poppins (which garnered several Tony nominations in 2007 and had a six-year run) is a fresh, new treatment of the classic Disney movie, according to Artistic Director Garrett Bradley, who looks forward to mounting the biggest show ever in the renovated Lebowsky Center. “After the success of two newer musicals—Shrek and The Addams Family—we see how much our audiences appreciate being able to see shows that were recently on Broadway,” he said. Although Bradley was aware that MTI was going to announce the release of Mary Poppins’ rights this fall, no one knew the exact date. “And just because a show is released in general doesn’t mean we will be awarded those rights,” Bradley explained. “A number of factors go into whether MTI allows a group to do any show, so we are very fortunate!”
The amount of work it will take to create the Poppins magic will be tremendous, but Bradley believes OCP is up for the task. He plans to contact a “flying company,” to see about setting up the rigging necessary for the actor playing Mary Poppins to fly. “Flying characters above the stage is very tricky,” Bradley said. “It requires much training and practice, as well as a team of safety experts. We hope to pull off our first flying character in this show.”
Auditions for the February show take place the first week of December 2 and 3 at the Lebowsky Center. Auditions for the roles of Jane and Michael Banks will begin at 5pm followed by high school and adult auditions at 6:30pm. Check the website (owossoplayers.com) soon for more detailed information about the auditions or contact director Garrett Bradley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Show dates are February 28, March 1, 6, 7 at 8pm and March 2, 7, 8 at 3pm. Tickets are already on sale at the box office and online.
OCP President Charlie Keenan said he can’t contain his excitement about getting the MTI rights to perform Mary Poppins. “In a word,” he said, “it’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”