One way to describe the 2018 Tomah Middle School play is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
On Nov. 29 the magical nanny Mary Poppins and her long signature tune will make their first visit to the Tomah High School auditorium stage with encore performances Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.
Lisa McCormick, director of the musical, said the middle school’s show is similar to the 1964 Disney movie of the same name.
“It’s the story of a nanny who comes to a household, the Banks family household, in London in the early 19th century,” she said. “She comes in to help them.”
The Banks family is wealthy and enjoys the finer things in life, McCormick said. However, the parent’s aren’t paying much attention to their children, who are difficult and have caused several nannies to quit.
“(Mary Poppins) comes in and just transforms the whole family dynamic,” McCormick said. “She shows the family how to love and care for one another again and shows the children what it’s like to respect those around them. It’s just really fun to see.”
Kami Murray, who plays Mary Poppins, said her character is fun. She said Mary Poppins is magical and full of whimsy but is also very strict and cares for her charges.
“I like how she’s magical − she literally can do stuff and nobody cares,” Murray said. “One of my favorite parts is when she takes the coat rack out of her bag. I love that because it’s so magical.”
While similar to the movie, the play is a bit different from the film, said Emmaline Allen, who plays Jane Banks. The show continues on after Mary Poppins initially leaves and later comes back.
“She leaves for the first time − she would leave forever in the movie − but then she comes back later,” she said. “It’s just really cool how they added more to it. I’ve seen Mary Poppins like a million times, but it’s nice to see something different.”
Adam Johnson, who plays Bert, a light-hearted chimney sweep and the musical’s narrator, agrees.
“I like how Mary Poppins is able to leave and come back; it’s kind of just about family,” he said. “I like that because in Peter Pan (last year) they kind of leave the family behind, but here they stay with the family, and that’s nice.”
Allen hopes the audience enjoys the return of Mary Poppins.
“I hope they’ll be really excited because they’ll see the first part of it, and they’ll think it’s coming to an end, but then there will be a whole other half to it,” she said. “That’ll be really cool.”
McCormick hopes the musical gives audience members a sense of nostalgia.
“I think they’re going to have a lot of fun with it and have a lot of memories from when they were younger to see the story and see it come to life,” she said. “I think it will be fun −I think they’ll see a lot of memories.”