The winds are changing, bringing one of the most beloved nannies of all time to Village Theatre next month.
Clutching her parrot umbrella and bag, Mary Poppins (Cayman Ilika) opens Nov. 13, and runs through Jan. 4 at the Issaquah location before it delivers its “Spoonful of Sugar” in Everett from Jan. 9, through Feb. 8.
Accompanied by her equally imaginative tap dancing chimney sweep friend Bert (Greg McCormick Allen), Poppins lands in London to take care of the Banks children, Jane (Mae Corley, 13) and Michael (Jaryn Lasentia, 12), creating wondrous adventures with lessons to learn.
When Ilika first heard Village Theatre was going to produce Mary Poppins, she knew it was a role she had to perform … again.
“I’ve always loved Mary Poppins,” she said. “I got to play her when I was 7-years-old and I’ve wanted to do it again ever since.”
Now a seasoned actor, Ilika said her portrayal is much different from her younger self, and Julie Andrew’s iconic performance in Disney’s Academy-Award winning film.
“I adore Julie Andrews, but I’m not her, nor could I be,” Ilika said. “I sing with a much lower register, so hopefully that won’t disappoint any audience members.”
McCormick Allen said his portrayal of Bert is equally different from Dick Van Dyke’s, yet his choices to play the character so, weren’t conscious, but the inclusion of some of the more darker elements from P.L. Travers’ novel cast a slightly different image of the story.
“I’ve been dancing since I was 2 1/2, it’s a role I’ve always wanted to play,” he said. “Bert is just a very optimistic guy. Nothing truly bothers him.”
The Village Theatre’s take on the script by Cameron Mackintosh and Julian Fellowes, creator and write of Downton Abbey, features never-before-seen stunts, and dance moves McCormick Allen is eager to showcase.
Co-directed by Steve Tomkins and Kathryn Van Meter, co-musically directed by Tim Symons and Bruce Monroe, the show will feature a blend of traditional songs and dances from the movie, including “Spoonful of Sugar,” “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Step in Time,” “Feed The Birds,” and “Supercalifragilisitcexpialidocious.”
Ilika said the 30-person cast and 15-member orchestra is unlike anything she’s ever preformed with.
“This is going to be some kids’ first show, so it’s magical that I get to be Mary Poppins to them,” she said. “Plus did I mention I get to fly?”
The “marathon of a show,” as Ilika called it, has also kept its actors on their toes.
“We’re constantly running around,” she said. “If we aren’t on stage singing and dancing we’re being hooked up to harnesses back stage or flying around.”