As winter gives way to spring, we can all use a little spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. That is exactly what Greenbrier Valley Theatre, the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia, served at the practically perfect Youth Education Program performance of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s musical, Mary Poppins Jr.
Despite the fact that the entire cast is made up of students, the audience was taken away to a professional Broadway rendition of this classic, sure to please children of all ages.
True to the original Mary Poppins tale, the play follows the Banks family: father, George, played by ninth grader Ryan Vaughan, mother Winifred, played by ninth grader Emarya Montogomery, and children Jane, sixth grade Lily Dense and Michael played by ninth grade Jed White. We quickly see that the children have run off yet another nanny as Katie Nanna, played by Sophomore Kaelin Maro, quits in a frustrated huff. Other house help, housekeeper Mrs. Brill, played by 15 year old Zenya Walters, is unhappy at the prospect of unsupervised children roaming the halls. In general we learn that the Banks household is in disarray.
The children have their own ideas about who should be the replacement; but George is quick to dismiss his children’s thoughts, a common theme throughout the tale. This is the cue for Mary Poppins, played by ninth grader Lillie King, to come in and save the day.
The rest of the 60-minute production, narrated by Sam Snyder, who played everyone’s favorite chimney-sweep, Bert, details how the Bank’s family resolves their domestic strife, the children regain imagination, and George learns a valuable lesson about priorities.
The entire cast and crew put together an impressive production that stands as a testament to the Youth Education Program at GVT. Next up for the GVT Education Program is GVTots, on Tuesday, April 17, GVTweens on Monday, May 1, GVTeens on Tuesday, May 8 and GVTeen Conservatory, Tuesday, May 15 and Wednesday, May 16.