Southern Utah News Articles
Mary Poppins opens tonight
The cast members of this year’s community theater production, Mary Poppins, are working hard and getting ready to perform August 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7. The shows start at 7 p.m. each night at the Kanab High School Auditorium. Tickets are available at the KHS Auditorium box office from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. each night.
Director Kelly Lamb has put together an exceptional cast including Lyndsey Willis Wulfenstein as Mary Poppins; Robert Van Dyke as Bert (just like Dick Van Dyke!); Holden Harris as Michael; River Henderson and Iris Lofing as Jane; Tammie Van Dyke as Winifred Banks and Austin Soderquist as George Banks. Linda Alderman is the vocal coach and is also playing Miss Andrew, the dreaded Nanny. Adreanna Pedersen is the producer and is playing the part of the eccentric shopkeeper Mrs. Corry.
Mary Poppins the Broadway Musical is very similar to the beloved Disney rendition, and offers some deep, meaningful insights into the lessons that are taught and learned from each of the main characters in the show.
For example, the character of Bert is more than just the high energy, singing and dancing friend that hangs around Cherry Tree Lane. In Bert’s opening monologue he explains that the story is about a family whose lives are falling apart. He sings, “Something is needed to twist them as tight as a string you might use when you’re flying a kite.” Mary Poppins is the very person who offers the help that is needed through games, experiences and sound advice.
When asked about his role, Rob Van Dyke offered this insight, “What I like about Bert is he sincerely cares about other people, especially children. He could be in the middle of anything and would allow it to be interrupted to help support a child. He is the kind of person a child will go to when they need help because he genuinely cares.”
Tammie Van Dyke said, “I like that Bert finds joy in little things. He is a true optimist and can see the good in all situations. He reminds us that we need to live in the now because the present is where you make the life you want.”
This Broadway show offers some truly uplifting life lessons and promises to inspire and bring joy to those who watch it.
What is perfection and how do you know if and when you’ve reached it? When asked this question, Lyndsey Wulfenstein (who is playing Mary Poppins), responded with this insight: “I’ve learned so much from the character of Mary Poppins while studying and learning how to become her on stage. She cares deeply for others who are in need of help, in particular children. She’s proper, but not too stern, well-educated, yet willing to learn. She suffers no nonsense, but knows how to have fun when it’s appropriate. She’s strong and bold, and stands up for what she believes in. She’s kind, but not weak; strict, but not cruel. She’s practically perfect!”
There is a poignant moment during the play when Mary Poppins and the children spot a tattered and dirty old woman sitting on the steps of a cathedral selling bags of crumbs to feed the birds around the city. At first the children are repulsed, but Mary helps them look past what they see on the surface and see the good inside the old woman.
In answer to the question about perfection, Wulfenstein concluded, “I think that perfection is about seeing the good in people and in every situation, and focusing on the positive. We all make mistakes every day, but if we can go about our lives giving each other the benefit of the doubt with a mindset of forgiveness and understanding in our families, with our friends, businesses, and in our community, I think we would all be that much closer to perfection.”
The Broadway show truly is full of so many exceptional life lessons. See you there!