Poppin’ into the spring musical


Photo by Julia Eisen

Senior Paige Chase, freshman Jeffrey Sampson, senior Maiya Trombley, junior Eva Tsitohay and senior Kevin Kauffman rehearse for “Mary Poppins.”

Julia Eisen, Feature Editor

Winter is slowly but surely coming to an end and now people can finally start getting excited about WJ S*T*A*G*E’s spring musical, “Mary Poppins.” This is the first time that the theater program at WJ has taken on this daunting show and the cast and crew are very excited.

For anyone who doesn’t know, “Mary Poppins” follows two wealthy and snotty young children named Jane and Michael Banks. One day a magical nanny, the titular character, swoops in with her umbrella and fancy words and takes the two young ones on wild adventures.

Rehearsals started January 18 and everything so far has been running according to plan. Scenes have been blocked, music has been taught and the large dance numbers are well on their way to being supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

S*T*A*G*E is seeing many new faces this production as well as some familiar ones. Freshman Avi Spector is thrilled to be in his first high school show and was blown away once he found out that he was cast as Michael Banks.

“I was very surprised when I was cast as Michael, especially because I’m looking forward to being able to act and go through the experience of being in the show,” Spector said.

Double casting has been a popular trend in this show compared to previous ones. This year almost every single part has been double cast. That means that on Friday nights one person will go on and Saturday nights the other one will.

Sophomore Damir Pimenov is double casted with Spector as Michael Banks. He appreciates the opportunity that he has in being double cast.  

“With a double cast I know there’s another person committed to the role that can help me out if I’m having a blank as to what I’m supposed to do as the character. I can depend on [Spector] more so than an understudy,” Pimenov said.

The anticipation over who would play the titular character rose over the months leading up to auditions. Senior Lauren Black was cast as Mary Poppins, but the role was surprisingly double cast as well with Alexis Holt, a junior who moved to Maryland this school year.

“I couldn’t believe [that I was cast as Mary]. The day after the cast list came out I double checked just to make sure I hadn’t dreamt it,” Holt said.

Rehearsals have started out on a lighter note in order to get the actors prepared for the show. Soon the rehearsals will become more grueling and exciting as opening night approaches.

“We’ve been making really good progress so far. In rehearsals we often take time to really get to know our characters. There is a lot that goes into making a character believable,” Holt said.

“Mary Poppins” will arrive on your doorstep (the auditorium) this spring on April 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21. This show will be a spoonful of sugar to even those having the sourest of days.