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Gainesville Theatre Alliance to present classic musical 'Mary Poppins'
The classic story of “Mary Poppins” is being produced by the Gainesville Theatre Alliance in early November. In the story, the nanny Mary Poppins helps reconnect the Banks family children Jane and Michael (played by University of North Georgia’s Lauren Whitaker, left, and community member James Bennett) with their overworked father (played by GTA alumus James Taylor Odom).

More than 50 years ago Mary Poppins made her grand entrance, flying into the hearts of many moviegoers.

Now the beloved nanny will return with her signature umbrella, bottomless carpet bag and magic for Gainesville Theatre Alliance’s presentation of the musical on Nov. 3-21 in Hosch Theatre at Brenau University. 

When Mary Poppins descended from the clouds, aided by a strong gust of wind, the Banks’ story transcended from one of dysfunction and chaos to family. Gainesville Theatre Alliance marketing manager Beth Kendall said its take on the production will explore the things Mary Poppins does to actually help the people around her.

While the production will boast some differences from the Disney classic, Kendall said there’s more commonality between the two than most would expect.

“For those familiar with the story, it will be a trip down memory lane,” Kendall said, noting most adults can recall the age they were when they first say the film. “The audience will be able to sing along to every song.”

Yes, that even includes the fun, tongue twister, “Supercali-

fragilisticexpialidocious.” But, for those unfamiliar with the original production and Disney adaptation, Kendall suggests it will be a “new kind of wonder for them, because the magic is happening right in front of their eyes.”

Kendall explained the trickiest part of the production is making magic happen live on stage.

“The director, designers and choreographer will talk about the challenges of doing this musical live for one hour,” Kendall said. “They’ll show their research, set changes, lighting and other tricks.”

Audiences can expect to preview the show in full at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 before opening night Nov. 3. Tickets are $10.

“The preview is like a dress rehearsal, and it’s a good thing for both the audience and cast members,” Kendall said. “For the cast, it’s their first time in front of a full audience, and for the audience it’ll truly be an interactive experience.”

Theatergoers may attend a free opening night reception in the lobby following the 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 performance. The reception will be catered by Luna’s.

Public performances of “Mary Poppins” will be 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3-7, 10-14 and 18-21. Matinee performances will be at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 and 15.

All performances and free stage tour will be in Hosch Theatre on the Brenau University campus at 429 Academy St. in Gainesville.

Tickets are $22-26 for adults, $20-24 for seniors 65 and older and $14-16 for students depending on seat location. Patrons may purchase tickets and select seats at or by calling at 678-717-3624.

For more information, call Beth Kendall at 678-717-3721 or visit


‘Mary Poppins’

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3-7,  10-14 and 18-21 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14 and 15

Where: Hosch Theatre, Brenau University, 429 Academy St., Gainesville

Cost: $22-26 adults, $20-24 seniors 65 and older and $14-16 students

More info: 678-717-3721 or

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