I left the New York Company of Mary Poppins on a Friday, packed up my life on Saturday, and arrived in Chicago on Sunday to begin rehearsals for the touring company.
So it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. Having shared the last two and a half years of my life with the Broadway Company and leaving my new husband of five months made it a
tearful goodbye. But the opportunity to play this wonderful role was too good to pass up. The minute I arrived in Chicago I immediately fell in love with this city (even if it was
ten below) and of course, the added bonus was knowing that a few of my fellow cast mates from the Broadway Company would be out here in the Windy City as well.
Rehearsal began at Germania Place which is a huge ballroom mainly used for weddings, but was magically transformed into a temporary version of Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane. Rehearsals had been running smoothly although getting out of my muscle memory from the New York Production and attempting to start with a clean slate for the touring production was much more challenging than expected. After a few weeks though, it finally started to click. I felt like I was finding new elements to this role and bringing in my own idiosyncrasies to Winifred Banks.
When I had the opportunity to go on stage in any of my understudy roles of Winifred Banks, Mary Poppins or Mrs. Corry on Broadway, I only had so many performances to really play around with what worked for me while still trying to accommodate the other actors by just making it as comfortable and familiar for them as possible. I was also trying my best to differentiate between the three. There
were a few shows where each day I would be on for a new role…yikes. It was confusing at times. However, in this new production, I play one character and with that we’ve had
more time to play around with so many different ideas of who Winifred Banks might be.
Now that we’ve moved into the Cadillac Palace Theater and begun previews for the
show, we’re only making a few minor changes to the production until opening night. The phenomenal creative team is watching each show adding a few things here and there
to get it where it needs to be for opening night.
I think this show has arrived at such a pivotal time. And with this amazing cast, the payoff is presenting something so magical and uplifting for all ages.
I’m so thankful and proud to be a part of this show and can’t wait to share it with those who haven’t experienced it.