Clovis North drama program puts finishing touches on ‘Mary Poppins’ production

Members of Clovis North’s drama program rehearse at Mercedes Edwards Theatre ahead of their production of ‘Mary Poppins.’ (Contributed by Joel Abels)

The Clovis North Bronco Drama program is getting ready to open its spring musical, the Broadway production of ‘Mary Poppins’ at Mercedes Edwards Theatre.

Led by Director Joel Abels, the show will feature a flying nanny and other special effects.

“It is a big musical. It’s Disney’s version of ‘Mary Poppins’ based on the film, based on the P.L. Travers book,” Abels said. “We’re trying to incorporate as many of the bells and whistles of any production that you’ve seen or can imagine of ‘Mary Poppins.’ So, it’s got the magic, the musical numbers, the costumes, the lighting and Mary actually flies.”

Abels, a huge Disney fan, said there are about 120 kids involved in this production from the orchestra to the crew to the cast on stage. The show features Clovis North students but there are students from other Clovis Unified schools on the crew that help backstage and up in the booth.

“It’s just a beast of a show, we have nearly 300 costumes,” Abels said. “They can barely move backstage because of all the scenery that’s crammed in the back. The cast is doing a fantastic job but it’s all the other technical stuff that is a challenge. There’s just a lot of pieces and parts.”

The show opens at Mercedes Edwards Theatre in Clovis on Thursday, April 26 and runs through Saturday. The production takes a break before continuing from May 3-5. Shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday with matinees at 2 p.m. each Saturday.

With the Clovis Rodeo coming into town this weekend, Abels hopes his production can draw more viewers.

“My hope is that we can pick up some rodeo folks that maybe are tired of the rodeo and want to come see a show, especially on that Saturday matinee,” he said. “So, if you’re tired of the rodeo, come on down and see the show. It’ll be like a rodeo in here!”

For more information, or tickets, visit www.broncodrama.com

A sign outside of Mercedes Edwards Theatre in Clovis promoting the upcoming Broadway musical of “Mary Poppins” put on by Clovis North. (Daniel Leon/Clovis Roundup)