The Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company is offering a magical celebration for its 25th Anniversary this fall — the Broadway blockbuster musical “Mary Poppins.”
“The entire company is bursting with excitement for this production,” said Stephanie Arrigotti, producer and director. “Anyone who has seen the stage version of this show will understand their excitement.”
The production will play three weekends, Nov. 6-22, at the Carson City Community Center.
Arrigotti said an extraordinary Broadway team collaborated on the work, taking elements of the movie and transforming it into a magical experience.
“The stage production brings far more texture and energy than the film,” she said. “This is, most definitely, not just a children’s show. When I saw it in New York, I was so blown away I had to fly back to see it again!”
Julian Fellowes, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who became famous as the creator of Downton Abbey, wrote the stage script.
The production is orchestrated by Tony Award-winning William David Brohn, famous for his work on Ragtime, Miss Saigon and The Secret Garden. Brohn and choreographer Matthew Bourne turned the chimney sweeps’ tap number “Step in Time” into a Broadway sensation.
“Mix them up with a strong Disney team and the effect was magic,” Arrigotti said.
The production won two Olivier Awards and became one of the longest-running shows on Broadway.
Based on the series of eight Mary Poppins novels written by P. L. Travers, the stage production uses some of the original material not included in the movie to enrich the story with details and deepen some dramatic themes. Richard Sherman, who, along with his brother Robert, wrote the songs for the film, felt that the central theme of the work is best exemplified in the well-known song, “Feed the Birds.”
He revealed that the scene had “nothing to do with tuppence or bread crumbs. “It’s about the fact that it doesn’t take much to give love, that it costs very little to make a difference to other people’s lives.”
Disney recently released a movie, “Saving Mr. Banks,” revealing how difficult it was to convince Travers to allow Walt Disney to turn her novels into a film. Disney worked for more than 20 years to win her approval for the rights. It wasn’t until he flew to London personally that she finally relented. Although the film swept the Academy Awards, Travers wasn’t pleased with the final product. So when celebrated Broadway producer Cameron Mackintosh (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables ) approached her about a stage version, she was hesitant. In fact, it took him 23 years to win her consent, and another seven years to convince Disney.
Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets for the production ($28/$25) are sold online at wntmc.com or by calling 866-977-6849.