Opening Night of "Mary Poppins" Sing-A-Long with Richard Sherman. (Facebook/The El Capitan Theatre)
Last night, everyone’s favorite nanny, Mary Poppins, swooped in for a sing-along engagement of the Disney film at The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.
Quite a number of Marys attended as well as some Banks family members–and a penguin too. Yes, fans were invited to dress up and participate in the festivities in costume. Some Disney Bounded, a trend of using modern styles using articles of clothes and color schemes in a similar fashion of a favorite Disney character.
Others went all out, in richly detailed Chimney Sweep outfits complete with faces covered in soot or in authentic recreations of Marys outfits. There was even a costume contest which an adorable set of of siblings dressed as Mini-Bert and Mini-Mary won. The Prize? A Jolly Holiday at Disneyland and a Mary Poppins 50th anniversary DVD.
On hand to celebrate was Richard Sherman of the Sherman Brothers and one half of the genius behind the beloved music of the film. His presence was quite a treat, as his magic rubbed off the audience with his infectious joy when performing more than a few songs from the film. From those opening notes on the piano of “A Spoonful of Sugar,” he engaged the audience with an impromptu sing-along. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to actually sing with the Disney legend to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Let’s go Fly a Kite.”
Children and adults alike joined in on the fun and listened while Sherman shared funny anecdotes about working on the film in between songs and the surreal experience of having that period in his life be brought to life in Saving Mr. Banks. He even performed some songs outside of Poppins and got everyone to sing-along to “It’s a Small World” during his encore.
Now, the actual film itself didn’t start till later than anticipated but that’s to be expected when you hang out with Sherman. That’s truly what it was like, hanging out with an uncle telling you stories and singing. When the movie began and the songs kicked in, everyone sang along excitedly.
It was when “Feed the Birds” came on, that the gravitas of the universal message in the song about showing care for fellow man became clear. There is no other way to explain it, but hearing that sung by an audience along with the amazing voice of Julie Andrews honestly showed how the movie has touched the lives of many. There was not a dry eye in the house.
After the movie, guests are invited to walk through an exhibit of some behind the scenes pictures generously donated by the Disney Archives. The 11-day engagement has daily showtimes at 10 a.m., 1:15, 4:30, and 7:45 p.m.
There is a special General Admission ticket price of $10, which includes popcorn. The VIP price of $20 includes a reserved seat, popcorn and drink (for all ages).
Tickets are available at the box office, on-line at www.elcapitantickets.com or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6.