The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, June 27, 2019, Page 4, Image 4

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Visual arts, literature,
theater, music & more
“Mary Poppins” A musical by the
Peninsula Association of Performing
embers of the Peninsula Asso-
ciation of Performing Artists
in Chinook, Wash., can guar-
antee that their annual musical will be
“Mary Poppins” opens Friday, June 28,
and runs for five weekends through July
28. It is being staged at Washington’s Fort
Columbia theater at the north end of the Chi-
nook Tunnel.
The show is based, in part, on the Acad-
emy Award-winning 1964 movie which
launched Julie Andrews’ film career after her
stage success in “My Fair Lady.”
The author of the eight Mary Poppins
books, Australian P.T. Travers, set her stories
in London in the 1930s.
But Walt Disney and the Sherman Broth-
ers, Richard and Robert, who wrote the mem-
orable music, switched the action to 1911, the
end of the Edwardian era, and incorporated
animated scenes, much to Travers’ distaste.
The play reflects that decision, but is dif-
ferent from the movie in many respects, with
songs added.
But the gems that had children and adults
humming in the 1960s, like “Supercali-
fragilisticexpialidocious,” “A Spoonful of
Sugar,” “Jolly Holiday” and the Oscar-win-
ning “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” are all included.
The production is directed by Alicia
Trusty, who grew up on the Long Beach Pen-
insula then moved to Los Angeles, the first
two years studying at the American Academy
of Dramatic Arts then a couple of years pur-
suing acting.
She moved back in summer 2018 and
assisted director Brooke Flood in staging the
straight play, “Enchanted April,” last fall.
Trusty was upbeat about her first show in
“It’s a lot of learning for me for sure, and
working to inspire and encourage,” she said.
“We have our core group, but are adding in
some fresh faces and a lot of young people.”
Double cast characters
Several actors share parts.
Reed Sexton appears as Bert the chim-
When: Friday, June 28, through July 28.
Performances are 7 p.m. Friday and Satur-
days; 2 p.m. Sundays.
Where: Fort Columbia State Park
(entrance by the Chinook Tunnel). No
Discover Pass is needed for admission to
the park.
Patrick Webb
ABOVE: The Banks household includes, left to right, Seth Grote as servant Robertson,
Jonathan Cole, as George Banks, Cindy Flood as his wife, Winifred, plus housekeeper-cook
Emma Zimmerman. BELOW: ‘It’s fantastic when they trust themselves to go for it.’ — Director
Alicia Trusty describing first-time actors.
ney sweep/narrator and his
wife Kaylee Sexton plays
Mary Poppins, double cast
with Lindsay McGrath.
“It gives multiple oppor-
tunities,” said Trusty. “It’s
a big part and it can be hard
on the voice. So this can
be a way to preserve their
For Kaylee Sexton and
McGrath, it has helped in
developing their character.
“We are able to watch
the other person and share
information,” Sexton said.
“We are not competitive.”
McGrath said portray-
ing Mary Poppins is a
“She is very vain and full of herself,”
she said. “It is very hard to act that way!”
The Banks children — who start out
naughty and turn out nice — are also dou-
ble cast.
They are played by Westin Billeci and
Aarin Hoygaard and sisters Evelyn Nor-
mand and Violet Normand.
Magical nanny unites
The story is about a
work-focused banker who
cannot find time to show
his love for his children. His
youngsters drive away a
series of nannies until Mary
Poppins magically arrives to
unite the family.
Jonathan Cole, who
had the title role in PAPA’s
“Beauty and the Beast” last
year, returns as George Banks
and PAPA founder Cindy
Flood is his wife, Winifred.
Their servants are played by
Emma Zimmerman and Seth
Sadly, Timothy Pior, the talented teenage
actor who had the choice supporting role as
Lumiere in “Beast,” died of complications
resulting from influenza earlier this year. He
had intended to audition following his suc-
cess as Tevye, the lead in the Warrenton High
School production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
In a tribute to his memory, four fam-
ily members, his mother, Candy, and chil-
Details: Tickets are $18-$23 adults, $7.50-
$12.50 children 12 and under. They can
be purchased in advance from Okie’s
Thriftway in Ocean Park, Wash., online at, by calling (360) 836-
4448 or at the door.
dren Elizabeth, Victoria and Alexandria, play
roles in this production, several making their
Elizabeth appears as one of the nannies
that the Banks children terrorize before Mary
Poppins arrives.
Peninsula singing stalwart Jane Schuss-
man plays the bird woman, whose “Feed the
Birds” is among the most poignant of the
Matthew Warner, the villain in “Beast,”
appears as neighbor Admiral Boom.
Completing the cast are Genice Nor-
mand, Charlotte Frank, Jabin Jones, Stepha-
nie Fritts, John Weldon, Gabrielle Brinkman,
Pepper Weldon, Olivia Townsend and Chris-
tina Suksdorf.
A rising cast
Trusty’s cast is blossoming as opening
night approaches.
“For a lot of people, it’s their first time
on stage and they don’t know how to trust
themselves,” she said. “It’s been awesome to
watch the process and see them click. It’s fan-
tastic when they trust themselves to go for it.”
The show should appeal to all audiences,
Trusty said.
“It’s about families, and how they gel
together and what happens when we stray
away from the kid in us.” CW