'Poppins' star talks about N.C. Theatre's show, sings a little about spoons, sugar
Posted July 21
The N.C. Theatre opens "Mary Poppins" next week and I got a chance to catch up with Kara Lindsay, the Broadway sensation who is playing the lead role.
Lindsay has appeared in starring roles on Broadway, most notably as Glinda in "Wicked" and Katherine in "Newsies." She has also taken center stage on a host of national tours, including Laura in "Little House on the Prairie," Cinderella in "Cinderella," and Sally Bowles in "Cabaret."
Lindsay said she's thrilled to be bringing the movie she loved as a child to the stage. "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was a favorite song growing up. "I really thought it was the longest word," she said. And, while she didn't get spoons of sugar as encouragement to take medicine, her mom would give her some chocolate chips.
"My mom was Mary Poppins," Lindsay said. "She just didn't know it."
Now, as an adult, Lindsay appreciates the story behind songs like "Feed the Birds," which Poppins sings as she encourages the children under her care to give money to a women so she can feed the birds.
"The lesson is so pure and beautiful," she said. "I wish that was how we all could look at the world."
Poppins, herself, seems to look through the world with the eyes of the child - and the sensibility of an adult, Lindsay said. In many ways, when the character pops in to work with a family, it's because the adults need help, not the children. She helps parents realize the importance of connecting with their children and bringing heart to the family, she said.
Way back in 2007, Lindsay actually auditioned for "Mary Poppins" on Broadway, which Eric Woodall was casting. It was one of her first auditions for a major show and it just wasn't the right time, she said. But Woodall and Lindsay did eventually get to collaborate on Poppins. He's directing the N.C. Theatre production.
"I was just getting my feet wet at the time," she said of that first audition. "And now I'm doing it in North Carolina, which is fun."
Right now, Lindsay and the rest of the cast are hard at work in rehearsals. Though she's been in Raleigh for just over a week, she has spent plenty of time prepping for the show in North Carolina. Lindsay lives in New York City with her husband, Kevin Massey, now on the first national tour of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder." Massey's family lives in Black Mountain, N.C.
On a trip to visit his family this summer, she said, "I sat on the porch, looked at the mountains and memorized the script."
That sounds pretty wonderful.
"Mary Poppins" runs July 26 to July 31 at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts. Tickets start at $25. N.C. Theatre's website has the details. The show runs about 2 hours, 40 minutes with a short intermission. Lots of "stage magic" will bring Mary Poppins' magic to life - making it a fun show for all ages.