Hampshire Regional to present high-flying ‘Mary Poppins’ musical

Amelia Gilman rehearses Tuesday morning on the trapeze during the song “Step In Time,” part of Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Amelia Gilman rehearses Tuesday morning on the trapeze during the song “Step In Time,” part of Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Nell Laney brushes off, Matt Cesare, as George Banks, while Bridget Sullivan, as Winifred Banks listens during the song “Precision and Order,” during rehearsal for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. On the steps are left, Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, and Izzy Torres-Mor, as Michael Banks.

Nell Laney brushes off, Matt Cesare, as George Banks, while Bridget Sullivan, as Winifred Banks listens during the song “Precision and Order,” during rehearsal for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. On the steps are left, Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, and Izzy Torres-Mor, as Michael Banks. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins, right, sings with left, Izzy Torres-Mor, as Michael Banks, and Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, during the song “Step In Time,” part of Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins, right, sings with left, Izzy Torres-Mor, as Michael Banks, and Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, during the song “Step In Time,” part of Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, Izzy Torres-Mor as Michael Banks and Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins rehearse on Tuesday for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, Izzy Torres-Mor as Michael Banks and Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins rehearse on Tuesday for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins and Bridget Sullivan as Winifred Banks rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins and Bridget Sullivan as Winifred Banks rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

 Matt Cesare as George Banks, Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, Izzy Torres-Mor as Michael Banks, and Bridget Sullivan as Winifred Banks rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Matt Cesare as George Banks, Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, Izzy Torres-Mor as Michael Banks, and Bridget Sullivan as Winifred Banks rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins and Matt Cesare as George Banks rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins and Matt Cesare as George Banks rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins, middle, sings with left, Izzy Torres-Mor as Michael Banks, and  Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, during the song “Step In Time.” The actors were rehearsing for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins, middle, sings with left, Izzy Torres-Mor as Michael Banks, and Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, during the song “Step In Time.” The actors were rehearsing for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Izzy Torres-Mor as Michael Banks, Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, and Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Izzy Torres-Mor as Michael Banks, Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, and Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

 Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, and Izzy Torres-Mor, as Michael Banks, rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Lucy McVey as Jane Banks, and Izzy Torres-Mor, as Michael Banks, rehearse for Hampshire Regional High School’s production of “Mary Poppins” this weekend. The show runs Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

By Aria Martinelli

For the Gazette

Published: 03-19-2024 4:45 PM

WESTHAMPTON — Mary Poppins will be flying over the Valley this week — perhaps a precursor for the arrival of the total eclipse in three weeks time.

But for those who don’t want to wait that long, Hampshire Regional High School is presenting the high-flying musical production “Mary Poppins” over three days this weekend.

“We are going the full nine yards, and we will be flying,” says director Myka Plunkett.

Adding the new element of flight to the spring musical is a special feature that the student actors have been training on leading up to this weekend’s production. The flying system was recently installed by a Netherlands- and Louisville, Ky.-based company called ZFX Flying.

“The second they got lifted into the air — full joy,” says Plunkett, local actor and artist in residence at HRHS. “They are elated. It’s a thrill to watch them do it.”

“Mary Poppins” is Plunkett’s eighth show at the high school, but it’s the first time she is working with flight. Plunkett is joined by former student and HRHS alum Nicole Tripp to co-direct the production. Tripp recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College as a theater major.

“Mary Poppins” is a musical based on the stories of author P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film. It centers around two children, Jane and Michael, who get a new nanny in the magical Mary Poppins. The musical embarks on a series of fantastical adventures.

The HRHS show will include music, dancing, scenery and costumes, complete with backflips, handstands into the worm, tap-dancing and, of course, flight.

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Choreographer Loryn Engelbrecht comes to direct the students in tap-dancing routines. Plunkett praises Engelbrecht for how encouraging she is.

“She doesn’t shy away from complicated routines,” Plunkett adds.

A professional pit adds to this tour de force. led by local pianist and conductor Graham Christian.

The show itself will feature 55 performers in grades 7-12 and the elementary school choir working alongside a professional crew of musicians and flight trainers.

The show will star Aoife Reynolds as Mary Poppins and Amelia Gilman as her understudy and chimney sweep.

“Mary Poppins” is a beloved children’s story and a “wonderful dip into history,” says Plunkett.

The musical will take place on Friday and Saturday nights, both at 7 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. All performances will take place at the HRHS auditorium.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults/general admission, $10 for seniors and children under 18 and $5 for HRHS students and staff. Tickets are available by calling 413-437-5587, emailing hrhstickets@gmail.com, at the door or through this GoFan link: gofan.co/app/school/MA23946.

HRHS students and staff can get $5 tickets through the code available at the school or by visiting the main office. There is a service fee for all tickets purchased online.