‘Mary Poppins’ lands in Morgan Hill

Zack Goller and Heidi Oliphant lead the cast in South Valley Civic Theatre’s production of ‘Mary Poppins’ at the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse. Performances run through June 25.Photo: Elizabeth Mandel 

She flies, she sings and she dances—that’s what Heidi Oliphant does in this South Valley Civic Theatre production of Mary Poppins. Along with Zack Goller, who joins her as Bert the Chimney Sweep, and Elizabeth Calisi, who adds to the fun as the long-suffering Mrs. Banks, the three leads keep a lively crew of more than 40 kids aged nine to 70 moving in the right direction.

Award-winning producer Cameron Mackintosh of Les Miserables, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera fame, successfully transformed Mary Poppins into a long running, mega-award- winning production. Nine of the original 13 songs are in the stage version, with songwriters George Stiles and Anthony Drewe adding several new delightful numbers to supplement the original score.

SVCT brought in flying effects by 2FX. Inc at a cost of $8,000 and added a rear projection screen effect to provide scenes of London.

Mary Poppins was written by P.L.Travers, a native Australian who spent most of her life in England. Walt Disney made an entrancing movie of her story with Julian Fellowes adapting the story for the stage and the award-winning Sherman Brothers supplying lyrics and music. Their delightful songs fascinated and gave the world a charming gift.

Once heard, their songs seem unforgettable. Long after you have left the theatre you find yourself humming their music. “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Supercalifraglistcexpialidocious,” (sung forward and backwards,) “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “A Step In Time” are just a few of the charming songs with added bouncy choreography. Of course Mary Poppins flies in and out of scenes with her umbrella held high, amid sets by director Megan Griffin with colorful costumes by Michelle Griffin. The energetic cast keeps this show moving at an pleasing pace.

Mary Poppins is the story of an efficient, over-the-top nanny with magical powers who travels with the winds by umbrella. She lands into the 1940 London home of the Banks who are in need of a nanny for their two bratty, parent-neglected children, whose main aim in life is to see how fast they can get rid of any nanny hired. Mary Poppins comes on the scene just in time to straighten all the problems out while singing and dancing with her friend, Bert the Chimney-Sweep, who charms everyone he sees. Sounds silly, perhaps, but it delivers an evening of fun and pleasure for adults and kids alike.

Mary Poppins is Supercalifraglistcexpialidocious.

Camille Bounds can be reached at: [email protected]
‘Mary Poppins’

Morgan Hill Community Playhouse, 17090 Monterey Rd, Morgan Hill

Performances through June 25

Tickets: (800) 838-3006, or visit www.svct.org