Can you say Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious?

The cast and crew of Alexander High School's 2017 Performing Arts Program will present "Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical" in the Alexander High School auditorium with six shows filled with dancing and toe-tapping songs you remember and loved from the 1964 movie and a few you may never have heard before.

The musical opens on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. with additional performances on March 24-25 at 7 p.m., March 23 at 8 p.m. and March 25-26 at 3 p.m.

Pre-sale tickets are on sale now at $10 adults; $8 students. All tickets at the door are $10.

The stage musical is not a direct adaptation of the Walt Disney film, but features elements of the film and the original books. It is a musical with music and lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman and based on the stories by P.L. Travers in her 1934 book.

The musical is a team effort of the high school's fine arts department directed by Alexander High School choral director Sandra Chandler. Long time veteran Fine Arts Band Director David White is in charge of sound and Fine Arts Department Head and Band Director Andy Daniel is responsible for sets, lights and special effects.

"In most schools, there is a competition between the band and the choral program," said Chandler. "Not so here at Alexander. In many cases, we share the same kids. We consider ourselves all 'one'."

Preparations and rehearsals began right after winter break, said Chandler, and casting the parts just fell into place.

"The students are perfectly placed," she said. "We nailed it at the auditions."

Mary Poppins is played by senior Caroline Watkins and junior Colby Davis is the lead male character Bert. Neither are new to performing on the Alexander High School stage.

Watkins, who plans to major in music in college, is a worship leader at Douglasville First United Methodist Church and has done musicals in high school since her freshman year, including Disney's "When You Wish," "Seussical." She has also played the character of Bomburina in "Cats."

"After school I want to go into the ministry and do something with music," Watkins said.

Davis, a "jack-of-all-trades" in the musical stage production, joined chorus at the end of seventh grade and is an All-State vocal students. He is in contention to attend this summer's Governor's Honors Program, having made it through the first two rounds. He played the role of Saimbleshanks in "Cats" and has played alto sax in band since sixth grade.

He plans to major in music education in college and conduct a college choir or band.

"Those who love the movie will love the stage production even more," said Chandler. "The Mary Poppins stage production is totally different from the movie. It is a little darker than the Disney movie. The characters are more developed and there are characters in this that are not in the movie."

Chandler said that in the stage version, you meet the nanny of Mr. Banks, understand why he behaves the way he does as it delves into his childhood. Mrs. Banks, on the other hand, is not a suffragette as she was in the movie. She has the desire to be more of a presence than one who just entertains and be a perfect woman and not just Mrs. Banks.

"Because you see a different character at the end, you see a deeper character at the end," the choral director said.

The stage version of Mary Poppins is a little more straightforward character who is "not as sweet as in the movie," said Chandler.

She added, "There are no dancing penguins."

There are, however, additional songs to the popular, familiar songs such as "Chim Chim Cheree," "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Jolly Holiday," Chandler said. "We are very excited that the company is arriving to put together the gear for Mary Poppins and Bert to fly."

Yes, there will be flight in the Alexander High School auditorium.

The flying effects are by ZFX, Inc., which will rig the theater and teach cast and crew how to give flight to the lead characters.

The performance runs about two and one-half hours with an intermission and it is appropriate for all ages.

Alexander High School is located at 6500 Alexander Parkway in Douglasville. For information, call 770-651-6057 or visit www.musicofahs.com.

AHS chorus taking part in 'Bluegrass Mass' on May 5

Coming up on May 5, Alexander High School's choral students will be participating in "Beyond the Blue: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass" at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre in Mableton. The performance starts at 7 p.m.

This is a larger, more upscaled production of the "High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass" performed by Alexander High School choral students last spring at Lithia Springs First Baptist Church, along with Tim Sharp, composer and conductor, the Mastery Choir and the Chuck Nations Band.

According to Chandler, this performance will also include members of Symphony on the Square, First Baptist Church of Marietta, First Baptist Church of Newnan and various other artists.

More details for "Beyond the Blue" are available at BeyondtheBlueHLM.com. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and BeyondtheBlueHLM@gmail.com. Cost is $120 for a table of six; $15 seats and $10 lawn.

Call 409-923-9663 or 409-9BEYOND for more information.

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