Moncton actress adds ‘spoonful of sugar’ to Mary Poppins role
SARAH SEELEY TIMES & TRANSCRIPT
Moncton actress Mélanie LeBlanc grew up enchanted by Mary Poppins when she watched Julie Andrews on the silver screen.
“It’s one [role] I have been dreaming of playing as long as I could remember,” she said.
LeBlanc will join a cast of professional and local actors for a stage production of Mary Poppins at the Capitol Theatre in February.
The cast was announced at a news conference in the theatre’s newly renovated lobby on Wednesday.
This is the third year the theatre will partner with Tutta Musica to produce the Broadway-style show.Tutta Musica is comprised of teachers from Sistema New Brunswick,a youth music education program. LeBlanc said she is studying the character of Mary Poppins in both the Disney movie and the novel written by P.L Travers.
“Mary Poppins to me is magical and otherworldy,”she said.“She’s somebody who comes in and changes people’s perspective on the world.”
LeBlanc has appeared as Elsa Schraeder in the Capitol/Tutta Musica production of the Sound of Music last year.
This year’s show will reunite LeBlanc with former roommate Josée Boudreau, who is playing Mrs. Banks. The two women studied at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
Boudreau has been performing at Prince Edward Island’s Charlottetown Festival as Miss Stacey in Anne of Green Gables.
“I’m thrilled we are going to get to work together again,”LeBlanc said.
Boudreau, a Shediac native, was also a childhood fan of the film. She said she will be taking on the maternal role while five months pregnant.
“I’m going to bring a mothering nature to the character,”she said.
Aaron Hastelow and Peter Deiwick, two P.E.I. actors, will play Bert and Mr. Banks.
The children cast in the lead roles are former or current students of the Capitol Theatre Academy. Grace Melanson and Élodie Gallant are sharing the role of Jane, while Jordan Kochan and Chloë Gaudet play the part of Michael.
Director Marshall Button said the show will bring a touch of fun in the midst of a dreary winter.
“By the time February rolls around, we’re all ready for a lift.”
Button said for the past three years he and musical director Tony Delgado have been working with local actors to put on a high quality show. This year’s production features elaborate dance numbers and memorable tunes like“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “Chim-chimcheree”and“A Spoonful of Sugar.”
“We’re taking it to a whole new level,” he said.
Rehearsals with the full cast will begin after Christmas, said Button.
“There is a lot more dance than we have ever had before.”
The show runs from Feb. 24 to March
4. Tickets went on sale Wednesday morning.
“The phone has been ringing like crazy,”said Button.