-Courtesy of Perpetual Motion PR
Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia’s professional classic repertory theatre, continues Season XIII: Celebrating the Extraordinary with P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins. Directed by Emily Trask, Mary Poppins, full of whimsy, laughter, and timeless life lessons, starts previews November 23, with an Opening Night Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate your “Jolly Holliday” by flying over the rooftops of London with the quirky and mystical Mary Poppins. The stage version of the classic Disney film, reconceived by Julian Fellows (the creator of Downton Abbey), retains Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman’s toe-tapping score while exploring P.L. Travers’ fantastical tale on the dangers of capitalism, privilege, and forgetting the magic of childhood. Continuing Quintessence’s tradition of rethinking children’s classics with an edge, this “Spoonful of Sugar” is the perfect medicine for all families, and especially for spoiled brats of all ages who need a visit from a good nanny.
Quintessence has assembled a stellar cast for this production. Hanna Gaffney (Oliver!, One Man, Two Guvnors, The Alchemist) will lead the ensemble as the practically perfect Mary Poppins, and she will be joined by Philadelphia treasure Steve Pacek (Arden’s Frog and Toad, Metamorphosis) making his Quintessence debut as Bert, the chimney sweep. The cast also includes Quintessence favorites Jered McLenigan as George Banks (Wilma Hot House member and Quintessence’s Little Women, The Alchemist, Wizard of Oz); Marcia Saunders (Oliver!, My Fair Lady and The Seagull) as Mrs. Brill; Eleni Delopoulos (Little Women, Oliver!, The Winter’s Tale) as Queen Victoria and Katie Nanna; Lee Cortopassi (The Winter’s Tale, Awake and Sing!, Richard II) as Robertson Ay; and Daniel Miller (Oliver!, The Broken Heart, Mother Courage) as Neleus. They are joined by Deanna Gibson (as Winifred Banks), Taylor J. Mitchell (as Miss Lark) and Brooke Behmke (as Admiral Boom and Miss Andrews) all making their Quintessence debuts.
The youth ensemble rotating in the roles of Jane and Michael Banks includes Sophie Aguilar, Fiona Griffin-Smith, Sara Church, Zachary Snyder and Raphael Sommer
Mary Poppins will be brought to life by Pacific Conservatory Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Emily Trask, innovative choreographer Tuan Malinowski and music director Dave Barrus. The world of early twentieth century London will be reimaged by scenic designer Ellen Moore, lighting designer Anthony Forchielli, costume designer Summer Lee Jack, and props designer Shannon Kearns.
“We all need a little magic in our lives right now, and we don’t think there is anyone better to help us put our best foot forward than our beloved nanny, Mary Poppins,” says Artistic Director Alexander Burns. “Join Quintessence as we sing our favorite songs, enjoy saying deliciously ridiculous words, and celebrate the power of the imagination to bring families of all ages back together. So, get your family to Quintessence this holiday season! Spit spot!!!”
“I have long admired Quintessence Theatre Group’s unique theatrical magic and exciting reimaging of the classics,” said Director Emily Trask. “Mary Poppins is a story about, among many things, the unique magic and power of imagination that brings people together – across classes, across generations, across family chasms. And I’m thrilled about the fantastic team of artists that Quintessence has assembled to bring this timeless tale to life like you’ve never seen it before.”
As we continue to live with COVID-19, Quintessence Theatre encourages masks to be worn inside the theatre.
Visit www.QTGrep.org or call 215.987.4450 to purchase tickets.