Vail Christian theater soars with ‘Mary Poppins’; shows are April 20-22 | VailDaily.com

Vail Christian theater soars with ‘Mary Poppins’; shows are April 20-22

It's fitting that Mary Poppins — or Emma Cerovich, who plays Mary Poppins in this week's Vail Christian High School production — was one of several cast and crew hanging around after rehearsal to clean up the mess.

It's sort of what Mary Poppins does. That, and fly.

Flying, it turns out, is an exercise in trust. You have to be tough to fly.

"It's about core strength, physical strength, but it's more about trusting the guys who are flying me. What makes me look magical is them doing all the work," Cerovich said. "I would trust these guys with my life."

"She does," chimed in Mack Calicrate, who plays Bert the chimney sweep. "Two years in a row."

Last spring, Vail Christian staged "Bring It On," the story of rival cheerleading squads. As you might expect, she and others flew above the stage doing all sorts of wonderful stuff.

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It's some of the same folks flying her and Calicrate around for "Mary Poppins."

"These guys know what they're doing," Cerovich said.

Cerovich is diminutive in stature, but massive in spirit and strength. Nothing about Calicrate is diminutive.

Flying, Calicrate, "takes some conditioning."

He grins and adds, "My highest note is in my harness."

It's time to fly

Mary Poppins and Bert fly because ZFX makes it possible. ZFX is a Louisville, Kentucky-based outfit that has been doing this for 20 years.

ZFX T-shirts say things like, "Now I know how to pick up chicks." Or "Life ain't nothing but wizards and monkeys" because they fly lots of "Wizard of Oz" performances. "I got 99 problems, but a winch ain't one."

The ZFX folks say people don't drop people.

"It just doesn't happen," said Isaac Foust with ZFX. "They may bump into things or the operator may get a little tired and the rope slides through their fingers, but people don't drop people."

So far, so good.

About Mary Poppins

"Mary Poppins" is a series of eight children's books written by P. L. Travers and published over the period 1934 to 1988, according to Wikipedia. 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 No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London, and into the Banks' 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." Only the first three of the eight books feature Mary Poppins arriving and leaving. The later five books recount previously unrecorded adventures from her original three visits. As Travers explains in her introduction to "Mary Poppins in the Park," "She cannot forever arrive and depart."

The books were adapted by Walt Disney in 1964 into a musical film titled "Mary Poppins," starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. In 2004, Disney Theatrical, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh (who had previously acquired the stage rights from Travers), produced a stage musical in London's West End theater. The stage musical was transferred to Broadway, New York, in 2006, where it ran until its closing in March 2013. In 2013, the film "Saving Mr. Banks" depicted the making of the 1964 film.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If You Go …

What: “Mary Poppins,” presented by the Vail Christian High School theater department.

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21; 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 22.

Where: Vail Christian High School’s Grace Auditorium, 31621 U.S. Highway 6, Edwards.

Cost: $15 for adults, $10 for students and children.

More information: Buy tickets at the door.

Cast

Mary Poppins: Emma Cerovich

Bert: Mack Callicrate

George Banks: Ethan Pyke

Winifred Banks: Grace Dease (Thursday, Saturday matinee), Emily Novak (Friday, Saturday evening)

Jane Banks: Camille Chicoine

Michael Banks: Cate Maslan

Katie Nanny: Gen Angarola (Thursday, Saturday evening), Grace Dease (Friday, Saturday matinee)

Miss Lark: Maddy Friel

Mrs. Brill: Carmen Baden

Robertson Ay: Rob Hixon

Miss Andrew: Scout McClinton (Thursday, Saturday matinee), Annie Cerovich (Friday, Saturday evening)

Bird Woman: Talia Tyler

Mrs. Corry: Hope Gonzales

Miss Smythe: Megan Collom

Policeman: Nick Kerrigan

Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman: David Haynes

Neleus: Harry Jaffe

Queen Victoria: Mari Engleby

Von Hussler: Sal Gonzales

John Northbrook: Sam Jaffe

Annie: Katie Keith

Frannie: Scout McClinton

Lamp Lighter: Senna Sink

Toys and Statues

Valentine: Hope Dease

Teddy Bear: Sophia Branden

Mr. Punch: Harry Jaffe

Doll: Jessica Richie

Doll: Katie Keith

Ballerina: Isabelle Carlson

Ballerina: Annie Cerovich

Jester: Sam Jaffe

Toy Soldier: Nick Kerrigan, Mari Engleby

Toy: Megan Collom

Toy: Sal Gonzales

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