One of the world's most beloved musicals comes to life on the stage in North Idaho this weekend. Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre opens one of its biggest shows of the season when the curtain goes up on "Mary Poppins" Friday night.
The character Mary Poppins captured hearts around the world when the Disney version was released in 1964. This week, the story that inspired so many will play out on the stage, located on the North Idaho College campus.
"Creating this magic has been extremely challenging and exciting," said production stage manager Dawn Reinhardt. "Then, executing it - equally so."
It's the touch of magic that makes Mary Poppins such a beloved show and title character. So, the cast and crew at Cda Summer Theatre are magicians this week. Bringing a Broadway-caliber musical to life is not easy, even for the co-director and choreography, who just finished the show on Broadway.
"It's a very unique experience that we take a show that is essentially a mega-musical and we mount it in just two weeks," said Rommy Sandhu. "We're very quick on our feet, constantly staging and moving decisively."
In the costume shop, seamstresses work to finish the 126 outfits needed for the show.
"With Mary Poppins, there are definitely some iconic looks that people think of when they think of the movie," explained costume designer Denise Leonard. "We tried to create some of those, but there are surprises, too, that I think will be really fun."
This is Leonard's first experience with the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre. It's hard work, but she has a very special connection to this production's Mary.
"She's my niece," Leonard says of Mallory King, the Seattle native who plays the starring role. "It's really fun that I get to do the show with her."
"It's been amazing," echoed King, of working with her aunt. "She's such a creative person and to see what she's come up with and wear her work - it's wonderful."
If what's going on behind the scenes is any indication, you'll be blown away by the magic Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre creates on opening night.
"The level of quality I've seen in this theater has blown me away," says director Sandhu. "It's pretty close to a New York production. Obviously with a lighter budget and on a smaller scale, but everyone is working just as hard as any professional crew I've ever seen; it's very heartwarming."
The show opens Friday night and runs through Sunday, July 14th. For more information and to get tickets, click here