photo by Jeanne Berget
This past weekend was the opening of the musical I've been rehearsing since early June..."Mary Poppins". I'm playing the role of Mr. Banks, and it's been an amazing exploration of this character...his motivations...his regrets...his transformation.
The director pulled me aside after opening night, and said that she'd talked with several people who thought this was one of the best/deepest/most thoughtful characters I've played (this is my seventh show with this theater group).
It was a great compliment, and, I would have to say I agree...Mr. Banks is written very well, and I've put a lot of time and effort into portraying him as a "real" person...faults and all. It's EXHAUSTING, but it's been worth it! The "yell-y" angry stuff is easy (I, apparently, have a lot of inner rage!), but the softer stuff in act II has been challenging.
I've always wished that I had the ability to cry on stage...as so many actors seem to be able to do. It was a rewarding breakthrough at dress rehearsal when, in the scene where Jane and Michael give Mr. Banks (their father) the coins they received from a customer at the bank, I started tearing up.
So far, I've managed to produce real tears at the end of that scene for every performance. It adds a touching nuance to the scene, and my director told me that I made HER cry each night while watching it. I need to be careful though, because at yesterday's matinee, I had a hard time reigning it in enough to say my final line!!
Here's a photo that sums up my character (in act I, at least), taken by my friend, and AMAZING photographer Jeanne Berget:
It was SO MUCH FUN to have her here! We had a chance to catch up BEFORE the show, then, after the Saturday night performance, we met my friends Lynn and Rick at the Tamarack Tap Room for a late dinner and drinks.
Junior's Cafe & Grill for breakfast before Kim headed home.
Here's hoping YOU are doing something "exhaustingly fun" too!!!