Based on the timeless Disney film that introduced the world to the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” Mary Poppins brings a surplus of joy and wonder to the Variety Theatre stage. Boasting a cast of St. Louis’ top theatrical talents and a children’s ensemble featuring kids of all ability levels, Mary Poppins runs Oct. 18-27 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.
Every year, Variety Theatre selects a musical that provides wonderful entertainment alongside a powerful message for families to take home. For all its rollicking adventures and musical numbers, Mary Poppinsis the story of a father learning to love his children as they are and see the world through their eyes.
The magic of Mary Poppins opens his eyes and rescues a family in distress. There is no doubt about this as she brings on the fun and flies over the audience to the top of the opera house. Even her friend Bert captivates everyone with his “proscenium walk” during the famous “Step in Time” number. He will tap dance up the side of the stage, upside down over the top of the stage and back down the other side – while singing about how the chimney sweeps always come to the rescue when needed.
For Variety, this is an incredibly touching narrative that supports our mission of helping kids with disabilities, who often see the world in different ways. Instead of dismissing them, we all learn and grow more by meeting these children on their terms. It shouldn’t take a magical nanny to teach us that.
This is Variety Theatre’s eleventh annual Broadway musical production under the direction of Tony award nominee Lara Teeter. The cast of professional actors along with a live orchestra under the direction of Dr. Mark Schapman embraces an inclusive children’s ensemble. The dazzling production includes sets by Dunsi Dai, costumes by Kansas City Costume Company, lighting designed by Nathan Scheuer, and sound design by Rusty Wandall – all award winners. Each year they lend their talents to mentor Variety Theatre teens of all abilities who learn backstage production from the best.
The story of Mary Poppins’ as presented by Variety Theatre will bring an unforgettable experience to theatergoers, cast and crew alike. The objective of VT is to help children with disabilities achieve their full potential, opening up to them what is possible with the nurturing encouragement of others who share their passion for creative expression and the arts. This special effort to bring together children of all abilities, under the direction and tutelage of seasoned performing arts professionals, creates a production that will not soon be forgotten.
WHO: Mary Poppins, The Broadway MusicalWHAT: Variety TheatreWHERE: Touhill Performing Arts Center WHEN: October 18 10 am & 7:00 pm
October 19 1:30 pm & 7:00 pm
October 20 1:30 pm
October 25 10 am
October 26 1:30 pm & 7:00 pm
October 27 1:30 pm
TICKETS: $18-$50 at www.touhill.org
About Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis
Variety empowers children with physical and developmental disabilities, also referred to as children with special needs, and improves their quality of life. Our programs highlight ability rather than disability. This holistic approach gives access to critical medical equipment and therapies, along with innovative Camp and Performing Arts programs, which provide opportunities for recreation, socialization, and artistic expression. Children gain or maintain independence, boost socialization among their friends and family, demonstrate belief in themselves, and increase skills they need to engage their world as fully as possible. www.varietystl.org
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.