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The Aquilian

Mary Poppins: the GDA’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious spring musical

The+musical%E2%80%99s+cover%2C+taken+from+the+show%E2%80%99s+ticket+website
The musical’s cover, taken from the show’s ticket website

Buy your tickets, have a spoonful of sugar and get ready to meet the Banks. The Gonzaga Dramatic Association (GDA) is back, this time for their Spring musical: Mary Poppins. This is its second and final main play of the 2023-2024 academic school year, the first being Complete Works Of William Shakespeare [abridged][revised][again] back in the fall. 

Nearly everybody has heard of the 1964 classic movie version of Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, but now you get to see it on the stage in the GDA’s own performance of the Broadway musical version of this classic tale filled with aspiring actors from Gonzaga and actresses from multiple schools in the area, such as Georgetown Visitation.

“This cast is so talented. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the play come to life through their performances. We have some new takes on a lot of the classic songs that people love from the original film that I think are going to be fun for the audience. We have also been working to add in some Mary Poppins ‘magic’ throughout the show – including some practical tricks and even flying the actress who plays Mary Poppins through the sky. I’ve really enjoyed seeing all of the hard work of the cast and crew come together into a really special show,” said Ms. Kate Griffith, GDA director and math teacher.

Witness the famous singing, dancing and British talking we are all used to seeing on the big screen in person.

Seeing this illustrious tale come to life is not only fun for viewers and teachers but also for the cast.

“The movie is such a classic, and some of the songs are so well known and well loved that you’d worry about not doing them justice, but everyone in the GDA has been working so hard and it really shows. These songs look incredible, and all the leads (Graham [Graham Farrand ‘27], Milton [Milton Yates ‘26], JP [JP Howard ‘24], Gloria [Gloria Burkhardt, Visitation ‘26], and Maggie [Maggie Campione, Visitation ‘26]) are doing great work with their characters,” said cast member Charlie Slusher ‘24 when asked what aspect of bringing Mary Poppins to life excites him the most.

The musical will not only have that star-studded group of performers, but it will also have some high flying effects.

“I am most excited for the belay system that will allow Mary Poppins to fly. The belay system will be a pulley system on a rail allowing for movement of the y axis lifting her off the ground and the x axis moving her further on stage. The belay system will be operated by two adults for liability reasons,” said stage crew member Patrick Kopplin ‘25.

The stage crew’s and cast’s hard work will surely pay off and they cannot wait to take the stage in March.

“I love the opening night jitters. Even though we are all really nervous, there’s this kind of buzz in the air. Everyone is excited to finally put on the show that we have spent weeks practicing for. It is nerve-racking to actually have an audience in front of you for the first time but the feeling you get when you have successfully completed your opening night performance is unmatched. All the time you have spent perfecting your singing and dancing has paid off,” said cast member Liam Reed ‘24.

Come to see these students and their fellow cast members bring the ole streets of London to life at the Sheehy Theater stage on March 15, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 23, with the performance on Thursday, March 21st, being the student night. Tickets for all are on sale online at onthestage.tickets for $15 and $10 for students. In addition, the student tickets will only be $5 on the student night.

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