The stage version of “Mary Poppins” differs from the movie, said director Carol LaForge.
“The writer P.L. Travers didn’t like the movie and she struggled with Disney,” LaForge said. “The play is more like the book. The kids in the book were brats and Mary Poppins was more strict than in the movie.”
The LaForge Encore Theatre Company will present the musical “Mary Poppins” Wednesday through June 23 at 7 p.m. at the Tooele High School auditorium. There is no performance on Sunday.
The play will be presented through special arrangement with Musical Theater International.
“It has only been available for amateur productions for a few years, and we will be the first theatre group in Tooele County to present it,” LaForge said.
“We have an awesome cast of about 32 and they are more like a team helping each other than a cast,” LaForge said. “Most of our actors are from Tooele County, but we do have a few coming out each night from the Salt Lake area.”
The director said she likes the message of the play about the importance of families.
“The song ‘Feed the Birds’ is not really about feeding birds. It simply shows that it doesn’t cost much to show somebody you care,” LaForge said.
The director said she and Aletta Boyce and three to five volunteers have been working on the set design.
“It’s complicated because you have the magic of flying and statues coming to life,” LaForge said. “It’s even a little more challenging than last year with ‘The Little Mermaid.’”
Mary Poppins is played by Brianna Lyman, who was selected Miss Tooele City 2015.
Miss Tooele City Pageant Director Kami Perkins said Lyman’s dynamic voice, stage presence and ability to connect with others was evident in every event she attended and at every opportunity she had to perform.
“She has continued her vocal and theatrical performance training and recently graduated from the University of Utah,” Perkins said.
“Anyone who knows Brianna would describe her as a diehard Disney fan,” Perkins said. “It is no surprise that she was cast to play Mary Poppins. I would describe her as ‘practically perfect in every way,’ and know that she will add to the professionalism that is brought to us by LaForge Encore Theatre.”
The other main character, Bert, is played by Spencer Jensen.
LaForge said Jensen was in her theatre program in high school and has acted in three other LETC productions.
George Banks is played by Colton Fowler, Michael Banks by Dallin Bothell and Jane Banks by Afton Orgill. The bird woman is played by Jeanette Hansen.
Prices are $7 for children and seniors, and $10 for adults.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.laforgeencore.org. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door, but for an additional $2 per ticket.
Tooele High School is located at 301 W. Vine St., Tooele.