Rehearsals and set construction are under way to kick off 2015 live performances on local stages, including Friendswood High School’s annual Spring musical, presented in memory of long-time FISD educator Myrlene Kennedy.
The show, “Mary Poppins,” will be presented at 7 p.m. Jan. 30, Feb. 6 and Feb. 7; and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 8. Kennedy, or “Dr. K,” as she was affectionately known, founded the district’s spring musical 47 years ago with the first show, “Brigadoon,” which drew a standing-room-only crowd. The FHS auditorium was recently renamed in her honor.
An FHS Alumni, David Schrader contacted Kathy Powdrell, Director and Mark Griffon, principal offering the show last March. He was able to “offer” the opportunity because of the position that he holds at Disney Theatricals.
“We are thrilled to have his support,” Powdrell said.
Schrader wanted to honor the memory of Dr. Myrlene Kennedy who started the FHS Musical 48 years ago.
The “Mary Poppins”musical is based on the similarly titled series of children’s books by P. L. Travers and the 1964 Disney film, featuring its popular songs such as “Spoonful of Sugar” and “Chim Chiminey.” The title role will be played by Audrey McKee. Lead players are Connor Krusleski as Bert, Jon Yawn as George Banks, Jana Landers as Winifred Banks, Anne Balderrama as Jane Banks and Travis Schlicht as Michael Banks. The cast also includes Summer Bockart (Katie Nanna), Owen O’Neill (policeman), Oliver Jones (Admiral Boom), Madeline Rhew (Mrs. Brill), Caleb Petty (Robertson Ay), Connor Henry (park keeper), Alex Rudd (Neleus), Ash Davis (bank chairman), Clayton Senter (Von Hussler), Joshua Thomas (Northbrook), Kirsten Hill (Bird woman), Lucinda Culver (Mrs. Corry), Caroline Senter (Annie), Claire Gilbreath (Fannie), Max Morgan (Valentine), Nathan Drake (Mr. Punch), Brian Chew (Teddy Bear), Gina Baker (Glamorous Doll), Shelby Allison (Miss Andrew) and cameo appearances each night in the role of Queen Victoria.
Technical director is Brian Cianciolo and stage manager is Sarah Jacobson.
In the story, “Bert,” a jack of all trades, introduces the audience to the troubled Banks family in 1910 England, where young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives at their door.
Using a combination of magic and common sense, Mary Poppins teaches the family how to value each other again, taking the children on magical and memorable adventures. But Jane and Michael aren’t the only ones she has a profound effect upon. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “Anything can happen if you let it.”
Directed by Kathy Powdrell, Mary Poppins features a large cast of actors, singers, musicians and dancers from FHS. Tickets for the show are $10 each. For information, visit www.myfisd.com. FHS is located at 702 Greenbriar.