'Mary Poppins' opens tonight at BPAC

Photo by Greg EichelbergerPhoto by Greg EichelbergerPhoto by Greg EichelbergerPhoto by Greg EichelbergerPhoto by Greg Eichelberger
By: 
Greg Eichelberger
Staff Writer

The children’s classic, ‘Mary Poppins’ will be performed by the Blackfoot Community Players at the Performing Arts Center through Monday, Aug. 21.
The popular show opens tonight (Friday).
The version will be directed by multi-award-nominated director Sharon Hoge and stars Michelle Bowen (as Mary, right), Neil Walker (as Bert), BreEanne Bowen (as Jane Banks) and Kimball Williams (as Tommy Banks). There will also be a special feature appearance by Dane Christiansen (who thrilled audiences last year as the titlular character in ‘The King and I’) as Mr. Banks.
The play is a series of children's books written by P. L. Travers and published over the period 1934-88. Mary Shepard was the illustrator throughout the series.
The books center on magical English nanny Mary Poppins. She is blown by the East wind to Number 31 Cherry view lane, London, and into the Banks's household to care for their children. Encounters with pavement-painters and shopkeepers and various adventures follow until Mary Poppins abruptly leaves—i.e., "pops-out."
The books were turned into a Walt Disney production in 1964, earning 11 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress (won by Julie Andrews) and Best Original Song (‘Chim-Chim-Cheree’), among others.