'Mary Poppins' flies into West Aurora High School
West Aurora High School Drama Troupe 2013 will be performing its spring musical, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's "Mary Poppins," based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 2, 3, and 4; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the West Aurora High School auditorium at 1201 W. New York St., Aurora.
Tickets cost $10 for ages 12 and up, and are $5 for ages 11 and younger and can be purchased online at sd129tickets.org. Tickets purchased at the door will be $2 additional. The production is directed by Ken Ruffalo and the stage crew is headed by Sean Tait.
"Mary Poppins" follows the adventures of Jane and Michael Banks, two children living in London in 1910 who have had no success with their previous nannies, much to the frustration of their parents.
However, when Mary Poppins comes through their door, she uses common sense and just a tiny bit of magic to teach the Banks children what no previous nanny could ever manage.
Poppins whisks Jane and Michael away on multiple adventures where they learn all the important lessons of life, but they are not the only ones upon whom Poppins has a lasting and influential effect. Mr. and Mrs. Banks learn some very important lessons themselves about the value of family and imagination.
When Ruffalo chose the show for the spring musical, he knew that there would be challenges to overcome.
"We have really challenged the students this year with the type of choreography we have in the show," Ruffalo said. "It's a lot to remember and moves quickly at times."
Students who are not dancers by trade have been learning a large amount of tap for the various ensemble numbers in the show, but even with the difficulty of the choreography posing a challenge, Ruffalo has been impressed with the students' willingness to attack it all head-on.
"They are open to new ideas and are working extremely hard to make this the best show possible," he said.
When asked why he chose this particular show for this year's spring musical, Ruffalo said that it has a great message, not only for kids, but for adults, as well.
"At first glance, we may think that the story is all about the children, but in reality it is all about Mr. Banks," he said. "Mary is there to rescue him from being miserable and helps him reconnect with his family."
And it's true; just like Mr. Banks, people nowadays get caught up in what is happening in the world around them to the point that they lose sight of what's important, which in the end is family.