“Mary Poppins” follows the story of a dysfunctional family in Edwardian London whose magical nanny helps them remember that there is much more to life than wealth and prestige.
San Clemente High School’s production is admirably focused, with the ensemble mastering extremely demanding choreography in numbers like “Step in Time,” in which they tap dance on the rooftops, or “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” in which they spell out countless words with their bodies. From park-goers on a jaunty stroll to disgruntled toys pining for help, the ensemble dives into each new character with invigorated attitude.
Cassidy McCleary is the lovely Mary Poppins. Poised to perfection, she struts about, lighting up her castmates and dazzling with her immense vocal range. Her interactions with the Banks children are reminiscent of a motherly storyteller as she leads them through various adventures, all the while dancing and singing along with the rest of the cast.
Bert, the charming jack of all trades, is brought to life by Jack Katke. His chipper cockney accent is endearing, and he is always wonderfully lost in the moment, whether it’s listening intently to Mary Poppins or engaging the audience with small talk in the rain.
The Banks children, Carlie McCleary as Jane and Maggie Anderson as Michael, are an adorable team full of endless energy and sass. Their love and worry for their father is apparent in their tender treatment of him, and their pure, childlike vocals shine through in every number. As their soft and kind mother, Winifred Banks, Tamara Armstrong showcases a journey to empowerment as she transitions from quavering to determined.
The props team, led by Maisy Strand and Abby Ambach, has created a slew of items that are both functional and fantastical. Cast members use them to their advantage, from riding carousel horse-inspired bicycles in “Jolly Holiday” to climbing ladders into the stars and flying kites that spell out “Believe.” Each prop…