Stagemakers to perform ‘Mary Poppins’ at JCC
Stagemakers Youth Theater students will perform “Mary Poppins” Feb. 11, 13 and 14 at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown.
“Mary Poppins” set in London, England, tells the story of a magical English nanny who is blown by an East wind to 17 Cherry Tree Lane and into the lives of George and Winifred Banks and their children.
This two-act musical is based on a series of children’s books written by P.L. Travers and the 1964 Walt Disney film.
There are two different casts: the Jubilee Cast and the Piccadilly Cast.
Parkland High School student Natalie Trachtman from the Jubilee Cast and Allentown resident Raphaella Mizrachi from the Piccadilly Cast commented on their characters.
Trachtman said Mary Poppins has a little bit of sass and a lot of magic up her sleeves.
“I like that my character always has something witty to say and is never afraid to say it,” she said.
Trachtman said during rehearsal she is not just part of a cast but a part of a community of people who love theater as much as she does.
Mizrachi said Poppins arrives at the Banks’ house to be a nanny for Jane and Michael but ends up teaching lessons to the entire family.
“I feel very honored to be chosen for this role,” Mizrachi said. “Playing Mary Poppins is a lot of fun, mostly because she seems to know everything and, as a result, she has some very good lines in the show. It’s been a challenge to live up to Mary Poppins practically perfect standard but it’s been great fun along the way.”
“We have a wonderful director and choreographer for the show, so everything from blocking to dancing has been a wonderful learning experience.”
Chayse Magliane from the Jubilee Cast and Parkland student Jack Valuntas from the Piccadilly Cast discussed their roles as Michael Banks.
Magliane said Michael cares a lot about his family. He likes kites and pulling pranks on his nannies with his sister Jane.
“I like playing Michael because he is very tricky,” he said.
Valuntas said Michael is a troublesome, mischievous little boy who is sneaky.
“What I like about being Michael is basically everything, for example getting to run away from nannies and getting attacked by toys,” Valuntas said.
Lower Macungie resident Gwyneth Magida from the Jubilee Cast and Kalley Yellak from the Piccadilly Cast commented on portraying Jane.
Magida said Jane is a thoughtless, short-tempered and untidy little girl who wants to have a nanny.
“She also wants to have a father who loves her but when Mary Poppins comes into her life she becomes more happy,” she said. “I like that Jane always makes trouble and behaves like a little girl.”
Yellak said Jane is a stubborn and tricky little girl who likes to get into trouble.
“Jane has gone through six nannies in the past four months with the help of Michael,” she said. “What I like about playing Jane is I get to be rude, tricky and I get to have a brother.”
Yellak said she is honored to play the part because she has worked so hard.
“Mary Poppins” is directed by Sarah Kuklis, choreographed by Anne-Marie Lee, with music by Andy Kuklis, set design by Dirk Lesher and stage manager/costumes by Mary McCauley.
“Mary Poppins” is about a magical English nanny. In caring for the children she leaves a lasting impression on the entire household,” Kuklis said.
“Mary Poppins” will be performed 7 p.m. Feb. 11; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13; and 2 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Kline Auditorium at the JCC of the Lehigh Valley, 702 N. 22nd St., Allentown.
To purchase tickets in advance call 610-435-3571.
Tickets may also be purchased the day of the show.
For more information, go to lvjcc.org.