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Mary Poppins’ flies into town

Photo courtesy of Rolanda Copley

Winds from the east have blown everyone’s favorite nanny straight from Philadelphia to Columbus, bringing with her the magic of the Tony Award-winning musical “Mary Poppins.”

The national tour opened in Boston Feb. 17, moved to Philadelphia March 23, and opened at the Ohio Theatre last night. The enchanting story of Mary Poppins is set to continue entertaining audiences in Columbus until May 8.

Eleven-year-old Camille Mancuso, who plays Jane Banks in the musical, is particularly excited for the national tour’s stop in Columbus because it means she’s coming home.

This is Mancuso’s fourth national tour, and while she has enjoyed the opportunity to visit cities all over the country, she said she is happy to have a chance to spend some time in her hometown of Columbus.

“I’m going to get to see all my friends and they can come to the show so I’m really excited,” Mancuso said.

Steffanie Leigh, who plays Mary Poppins in the musical, remembers watching the classic Disney film and imagining herself as the famous nanny.

Leigh said it is “a literal dream come true” to be playing the iconic role.

Both Mancuso and Leigh said “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is one of their favorite parts of the show.

“It’s really high energy,” Mancuso said.
 
Leigh said she’s excited to perform the famous song.
 
“We have a lot of fun with it and it’s just an iconic song that the audience is kind of waiting for,” Leigh said.
 
The musical features other memorable songs, such as “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “A Spoonful of Sugar,” while incorporating new original music specifically for the stage performance.
 
Memories of the story have inspired students to see the musical during its stay in Columbus.   
 
Ohio State student Erica Loughry, a second-year in industrial and systems engineering, remembers watching the movie numerous times, either with her babysitter or her family.
 
“I like musicals, and it was one I knew I could enjoy with my family,” said Loughry, who is seeing the musical this Friday. “I’ve heard they do really cool acrobatics and tricks so I’m excited to see that.”
 
Leigh said the musical shares a story about the importance of family, and the belief that anything can happen to people who truly want something.
 
“It’s definitely a show for everyone, not just a kid’s show,” Leigh said. “It has a great heart and a great message.”
 
The musical combines elements from the original book series by P. L. Travers and the famous 1964 Walt Disney film of the same name. The show is a co-production by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh.
 
The Columbus performance of Mary Poppins is presented by CAPA and Broadway Across America.
 
Tickets are available through the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com, with prices starting at $22.50.

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