Kelowna raving about Mary Poppins stage debut

You know that feeling you get on Christmas day? The one where you’re overwhelmingly happy and you can’t help but squeal?

What about the feeling when you’re in a candy shop and you’re reliving your childhood? The one where a smile is plastered on your face and it hurts so much, but it won’t leave?

That’s the feeling you’re going to get if you go see the latest production by Kelowna Actors Studio.

The hit Broadway musical Mary Poppins opened in Kelowna on Thursday evening (July 28) and it was practically perfect.

The sets were extravagant, colourful and magical. The acting was captivating.

Mary Poppins was played by Dharma Bizier. The young woman embodied the magical yet witty persona of Poppins perfectly. Her singing ability created silence in the theatre and eyes were glued to her to see what she’d pull out of her magical bag of goodies next (a lot of big things came out of that little bag).

Poppins taught the Banks children, played by Kate Hammer and Caden Hergott, how to have a curious heart.

This is Kate’s 10th year with Kelowna Actors Studio and you could tell. The young woman, who played Jane Banks, represented the sassiness of a young girl along with the dire need for attention and adventure. Kate has a lovely singing voice and bouncy red curls.

Ten-year-old Caden brought a pinch of naughtiness to the stage as Michael Banks, but you couldn’t help but love him.

The children’s mother, Mrs. Banks, was played by Anna Jacyszyn.

It’s Jacyszyn’s first professional stage musical since 1994. The audience seemed to fall in love with her quickly and fully. You were made to feel bad for her because Mr. Banks just didn’t seem to pay any attention to his beautiful wife until the very end of the performance.

The show brought Broadway to Kelowna and with Broadway there’s an expectation of hilarious people, playing hilarious parts.

The chairman of the bank was played by John Sinclair. Sinclair embodied the crooked and wobbly chairman to a T. It was Sinclair’s first solo as an actor with the Kelowna Actors Studio and he delivered. He had the voice of an old man down pat, he walked with a hunch and completely stayed in character when he joined the ensemble as the old man.

Bert — the fabulous, hilarious and loveable jack-of-all-trades — was played by Nathan Flavel.

This was Flavel’s first time back on the stage after a two-year hiatus and he did not disappoint. Audience members instantly fell in love with his character and his songs about magic and chimney sweeping.

Social media has blown up since Mary Poppins debuted in Kelowna with people sharing their experiences on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Two of the things people have been raving about the most are the dancing (there was tap dancing) and the sets (I told you… there was real magic).

Mary Poppins featured multiple numbers including the beloved practically perfect, A Spoonful of Sugar, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The dancing paired with these broadway numbers left the audience cheering and clapping along.

It was a night to remember and the one of the best, if not the best, performances put on by the Kelowna Actors Studio.

Mary Poppins runs until Aug. 6, at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

To pick up your tickets, click here or call 250-862-2867

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