MARY POPPINS Opens to Full Houses and Standing Ovations

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on May 1, 2015

Mary Poppins has finally opened!

It really has opened, and it has opened to riotous applause and to standing ovations, as Mary Poppins gracefully flies across the Roxy stage to cheers from full houses of adults and children alike.

Friday night’s pay-what-you-can preview quickly sold out, but the box office gave prospective audience members the opportunity to secure tickets for Saturday night’s performance instead.

Marge Lillard, at 94, is a true Clarksville treasure. She was greeted Saturday night by family, friends and longtime fans, all mesmerized and charmed as she told the large audience of theatre lovers stories and anecdotes of her “life in the theatre.” Marge has given so much time and her multi-talents to theatre — not just this one, but theatres around the world. Champagne flowed and toasts were made to this great lady of the theatre.

We’ve been playing all week to capacity audiences of children whose parents and educators know the value of seeing live theatre and the worth of bringing a book to life — not on film, no, but right before their very wide, amazed and awed eyes.

Tomorrow’s “High Tea with Mary and Bert” — including kite-making, photos with Mary and Bert, and lunch at our good neighbors across the street, Edward’s — is sold out. A few tickets remain for Saturday, May 16, but you must hurry if you want to be a part of this unique interactive celebration.

In the chaos of painting an enormous, complicated and intricate set for Mary Poppins, I took my lunch break, as I often do, sitting outside the theatre on the terrazzo in my ragged multi-paint spattered and worn out overalls. Two young soldiers getting into their car across the street called over and asked if I wanted a cigarette or needed any food. I said, “Thank you, no,” but after a short pause, I asked if they thought I was homeless. They responded, “Just checking if you needed any help.” These are the kinds of military we are turning out. Bravo to them and to us.

Waiting patiently in the wings are 30-plus School of the Arts aficionados, anxious to play cats in another Disney classic, The Aristocats. Upstairs in theotherspace, Ryan Bowie and Corinne Bupp are getting Neil LaBute’s bash set to fill the short gap between the two Disney classics, Mary Poppins and The Aristocats. The Roxy interns are busily workshopping Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Magnificent Ambersons, which will feature Montgomery Central senior Truman Jepson as George Amberson and incoming Clarksville High freshman Lauren Mund as Lucy.

As Mary Poppins says, “If you can’t be good, be sorry.” There is nothing to be sorry about with Mary Poppins, playing now through May 23. In addition to Friday and Saturday 8:00pm performances, Mary Poppins plays Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm. These early curtain times equal a great bargain for active-duty military, APSU students and CitySaver coupon holders: two tickets for the price of one. You really can’t beat that!

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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