Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


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Bob Monette




(Posted 10:30 a.m., Mary 16)
OYP production of Mary Poppins a worthy tribute to Disney classic

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Samantha Leclair (centre) makes a triumphant return to the Shenkman Arts Centre stage as Mary Poppins in the OYP Theatre School's fundraising production of the Disney classic. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Orleans Young Players Theatre School has pulled out all the stops in staging their annual fundraising showcase this year, bringing back some familiar faces for the production of Mary Poppins.

The cast includes several veterans of local theatre including Susan Flemming, Marni-Hunt Stephens, Sarah Benfield, Lennis Poupore, Randy Bellini, Biz MacDonald and the always amazing Samantha Leclair in the lead role of Mary Poppins.

I could spend the entire article singing the praises of Ms. Leclair, who was born to play the magical nanny who drops into Cherry Tree Lane to care for the Banks children and mend the estranged family, but the OYP production is a sum of some pretty wonderful parts including a song list that many of the older members of the audience grew up with like "A Spoonful of Sugar", "Chim Chim Cher-ee", and, of course, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

The ensemble numbers, which are performed by a small army of OYP's youngest students, are adorable and too sweet for words.

The play itself includes the usual cast of characters starting with Bert, the chimney sweep and chalk artist who was played by Dick van Dyck in the Disney production and Sebastien Melbourne on the Shenkman Arts Centre Stage; Admiral Boom, who is played by Rob Pettifer; and Uncle Albert played by Bruce Deachman.

Mary Poppins is the perfect opportunity for parents to share a part of their youth with children. There are two more performances today (Friday, Feb. 23) at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. In lieu of purchasing an actual ticket, audience members are asked to donate a minimum of $10 for adults and $5 for students and children which will be used to help purchase props, costumes and scripts for future productions.

Besides acting as an important fundraiser, Mary Poppins marks the beginning of OYP's Student Showcase season which will continue over the next four weeks and include 21 productions.

For more information about the theatre school visit www.oypts.ca.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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