Appleton North’s production of Mary Poppins enjoyed a spectacular run that, despite a dramatic rain delay, was practically perfect in every way.
Here’s what happened when the school’s fire alarm sounded smack in the middle of a rousing rendition of “Step in Time”, forcing startled actors and audience members to step in time right out of the school:
1) An obedient and swift evacuation of 700 patrons and 100 cast and crew occurred.
2) An audience willingly waited outside in the rain for the all clear sign so they can see the rest of the show
3) A poised cast and pit orchestra ably resumed exactly where it left off, despite an uncomfortably damp and unexpected delay.
Though this had never happened before, everything proceeded with no-nonsense precision, as though the title character herself had choreographed the exit. Spit spot! and on with the show. Often in my 15-year association with the Appleton North Theatre Department I’ve applauded director Ron Parker’s amazing productions. I agree with the patrons who regularly remark that they can’t believe these actors, these musicians, and tech crew are high school students and not seasoned professionals.
Friday night I watched high school senior Joey Krohlow as Bert and his merry band of chimney sweeps pick up right where they left off after the Appleton Fire Department gave the all clear signal, and I thought the same thing. “I can not believe those are high school kids up there!”
Congratulations once again Appleton North Theatre. Our admiration for you only grows.
The show itself was spectacular. Here are a few photos my friend Catherine McKenzie took to give you a taste: