‘Mary Poppins’ show is a family affair

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Mary Poppins

The San Benito Stage Company’s run of Mary Poppins at the Granada Theatre has a family-friendly touch from the production team all the way down to the audience.
The latest show, a musical, is running at the Granada Theatre through July 25. The show features 59 cast members along with 16 technical people backstage and an 11-member orchestra.
It has a distinct family feel from the top on down. Producing the show are Shon Morrison, his son Matt and daughter Melissa. Shon and Matt Morrison in a recent interview also mentioned how there are several groups of families taking part as actors as well.
“It’s just a true family affair,” the father said. “We can go home and we can talk about it over dinner.”
The stage company had asked longtime producer Shon Morrison to help organize the summer show, but he would do it only if he could bring on his son and daughter.
Matt Morrison pointed out how the musical—about the adventure-laden nanny—brings another positive element in its message.
“I really like the whole moral behind the story Mary Poppins,” he said. “Family comes first. Make time for family. It has a really nice central theme to it. It’s one of those feel-good shows you can go to.”
The feel-good sense around the show came with a lot of hard work. The father and son explained how preparation for the show, which started in May, was extraordinary due to all of the musical and dance components—many cast members learned to tap dance for the first time—and the biker rally into the musical’s opening week.
“We had a good, solid nine weeks of rehearsal to put this entire show together,” Matt Morrison said. “A lot of cast members were volunteering, painting sets, constructing and donating props. It really came together mostly because of this cast.”
That cast includes Angela Prak in the lead role as Poppins, while Patricia Whalen directs the show. Matt Morrison said the performances include some special-effects trickery as well, as set designers had to create pieces that could break and be put back together.
“The only thing we couldn’t do is make Mary fly,” he said.
The musical is set for 7 p.m. July 16, 17, 23, 24 and 25, and at 2 p.m. July 19 at the Granada Theatre, 336 Fifth St. in Hollister.
Adult tickets are $16, with seniors, children and students at $13. Four tickets are available for $47.

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