The Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Theater Department was proud to present Disney's Mary Poppins JR., January 18th-20th at CHCA's Lindner Theater. Directed by John and Kristie Jung, Vocal Director Della Enns, Technical Director Jim Jung, and choreographed by Susan Jung, the cast and crew of 85 students in grades 5-8 performed, moved sets around, managed lights and sound, and more in this Disney classic tale.
Based on the hit Disney classic motion picture, Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins JR. captivates the imagination of the audience equally so. The crowd watched as the Banks family came apart at the seams. Their latest nanny walked out on the children due to their behavior, Mrs. Banks (played by Kelsey Espenshade & Grace Flynn) was feeling inadequate, and Mr. Banks (Tobi Aina & Peyton Andry) finds out he is suspended from his job. Mary Poppins (played by Megumi Agerton & Carley Millette) drops in just in time to help the Banks family get back on their feet again. Through a series of magical games and lessons with the Banks children (Jane played by Brooklyn Tapp & Martha Sophia Thompson, Michael played by Brady Iskandar & Andrew Parrish), Mary and her chimney sweep friend, Bert (portrayed by Brian Jung & Sam Saxby), turn things around the way they should be, leaving things 'spit spot'! Filled with memorable characters, a breathtaking set, incredible costumes, and a toe-tapping score, Mary Poppins JR. left each sold out audience appreciating the truly important things in life in this 'practically perfect' tale!
The creativity in costumes and stage sets took show-goers back in time, as they enjoyed familiar songs, such as "Jolly Holiday", "A Spoonful of Sugar", and "Chim Chim Cheree". The stage literally and figuratively lit up as the cast sang and danced to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." at Mrs. Corry's (Abby Rosenfeldt & Charleigh Wright) Talking Shop. And the truly memorable dance number of the show was the classic "Step in Time", an entire ensemble treat for the crowd. With characters tapping, flying, and doing acrobatics, the crowd was once again transported into a different place and time. The entire musical proved again that CHCA's Fine Arts department is truly dedicated to excellence.
"Recognizing God's hand in our lives is vital to the path that we are called to take," shared Directors John and Kristie Jung. "Sometimes, He shows up in ways we never could expect, and can even seem like a hardship rather than an answer to a prayer...kind of like a nanny that flies in by way of an umbrella and turns the world upside down! Don't always expect a voice from heaven or a lightning bolt to strike. Expect the unexpected and trust that God will work out all things for your good (Romans 8:28)."
The Jungs also added, "It was a wonderful weekend as the CHCA theater was filled with the talented students performing Mary Poppins JR. with a spectacular double casted production. Everything came together so beautifully. The CHCA theater community built an elaborate set that was incredible for our audiences to enjoy. The costume committee did an amazing job costuming the entire cast with creativity and the students looked phenomenal! We are so blessed and honored to be apart of the team and truly enjoyed directing this show. Our hearts are full of gratitude and thanks for all of the committees and teams that joined forces to make this program a success! The students took the stage and performed with great confidence and excellence. Their singing, dancing, acting, and stage crew skills were outstanding. This year we had students flying during the show. The flight team that managed this technical element was so encouraging and kept the students safe. We are very proud of the entire army of people that brought this timeless story to life!"
CHCA Fine Arts Director, Mona Summers shared her congratulations, "Congrats to the cast, crew, directors, and volunteers on an amazing production! I'm so proud of our students! I heard many people saying over the weekend how amazed they were at the quality of the show knowing these were Grade 5-8 students. Bravo!"
The show is one of six theatrical productions this year at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. CHCA's Upper School students are also in full swing rehearsing for the upcoming classic, Les Misérables. The performances for that show will be March 7 at 7:00 p.m., March 8 at 7:00 p.m., March 9 at 7:00 p.m., and March 10 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets available here.
Congratulations again to all who were involved in this year's production of Mary Poppins JR.!
(photos contributed by Dan Ledbetter)