Mary Poppins Comes to Parkland

Published 07/30 2014 02:05PM

Updated 07/30 2014 05:26PM

Mary Poppins

Presented by the Champaign-Urbana Theater Company and Dr. J. Barry Howell DDS, Bank Champaign and the Illinois Arts Council
Thursday , July 31, (7:30 PM), Friday, August 1,(7:30 PM), Saturday August 2, (7:30 PM), Sunday, August 3 (Matinee – 2:30 PM)
Thursday , August 7, (7:30 PM), Friday, August 8,(7:30 PM), Saturday August 9, (7:30 PM), Sunday, August 10 (Matinee – 2:30 PM)
Tickets information: General Admission $16, Student and Seniors $12, Children $8.
Available online at or by calling 217-344-3884. Also available at the box office and on the night of the show.

Show summary:
One of Disney's most popular movies, Mary Poppins, will be coming to life, flying on to the Parkland Stage. Champaign Urbana Theater Company presents Mary Poppins. With new songs and an irresistible story that is closer to the original Travers’s books, Mary Poppins leads you to a world where anything can happen if you believe. This midsummer show runs for two weekends at Parkland College
Local show note: This is the first non-touring production of the show in Champaign County.
Parking warning: The area at Parkland College near the theater is under construction. The traditional parking lot south of the theater will be closed. Patrons can park in the C lot and enter the C1 entrance.

Director – LaDonna Wilson
Vocal Director – Timothy Renner
Conductor – Mathew Sheppard
Choreographers – Sarah Mohr, Tanya Pickard
Producer/Master Fly – Todd Salen
Based on book by P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film

Cast of 40, ages 7-60 from throughout Illinois.
CI Living guests:
LaDonna Wilson (Director) - is a CUTC rookie director. LaDonna has played a nun (9 times), a witch, and a wino. She has directed over 120 local productions, mostly with Central High School, where A Chorus Line, RENT, Noises Off, and Next to Normal were her favorites. She is also happy to be directing her oldest son Marc who plays Bert in this performance!
Marc Wilson(Bert) This is Marc’s first lead role with CUTC although he appeared last summer in Les Miserables. A graduate of Champaign Central High school and the University of Illinois, Marc has worked tirelessly perfected complicated lifts, flips and aerials to bring Bert’s magic to life.
Chim Chiminy Chim Chiminy Chim Chim Chiri
Kari Croop(Mary Poppins) was last seen as Cinderella in CUTC’s Into the Woods (2011) and has since become a busy mother to 2-year-old triplets Nora, Connor and Cameron. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and works part-time for Netflix and Common Sense Media as a writer, editor and television reviewer.
Song - Spoonful of Sugar
Ana Almeida(Jane Banks) is a fifth grade student at Montessori Habitat. Ana has performed in several local plays by CUTC, CPD youth theater and Class Act. Her favorite roles include Young Cosette at Les Miserables by CUTC. She takes theater classes at Class Act in Champaign and voice lessons with Brad Jenks.
Ellison Radek(Michael Banks) is 10 years old and is going into 5th grade at Next Generation School. She enjoys acting, singing, dancing, soccer, and piano. She has been training at Class Act for five years. This is her second CUTC show. She has been in several local films and numerous community shows at SoDo Theatre, Parkland Theatre and Next Generation School.
Timothy Renner(Vocal Director), a native of Northern Virginia, is an accomplished pianist, singer, and conductor with undergrad and master’s degrees in education and church music from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. Currently, Timothy is in the voice performance doctoral program at the University of Illinois, and is very active in the opera department. Recent roles include the titles in Falstaff and Gianni Schicchi, Javert in Les Misérables (with CUTC), and Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. He has served as music director for several musicals: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (original version), A Christmas Carol, Shrek The Musical, Hairspray Jr., and CUTC's spring production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He is actively involved in the music ministry at his church, First Baptist of Danville, serving as choir director and worship leader.
Todd Salen (Producer, Master Fly) This is Todd’s 28th show with CUTC and his 6th show as Producer. He previously produced Les Miserable’s, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors and Rocky Horror Picture Show for CUTC. He is a REALTOR for Ramshaw Real Estate and is currently Past President of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS.
Show notes:
Flying – 4 characters will “fly” in the show and CUTC has contracted with a professional flying company to install and train volunteers to operate the fly rigs. This is the first show since Peter Pan that CUTC has invested in an elaborate fly rigging.
Special effects – In addition to flying the show features several “magical props” that should surprise and entertain children of all ages. This is the most money CUTC has invested in special effects since Beauty and the Beast in 2007, over double the cost of Beauty and the Beast special effects.

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