A youth theater experience: Mary Poppins, la comédie musicale

By Zoe Verelli

Mary Poppins, la comédie musicale is one of the theatrical works that aim to do exactly that. It took place from the 8th of December to the 7th of January, but will take to Quebec City during the summer of 2017.

Produced by Just For Laughs, this production tells the story of Mary Poppins, a magical nanny that descends from the cloud after responding to an ad in the newspaper.

I had the pleasure to sit down with Alessandro Gabrielli, a talented and kind 10-year-old boy who landed the lead role of Michael Banks.

ZOE: Were you always a fan of the Mary Poppins lm and plays/ musicals?

ALESSANDRO: Yes, I’ve always loved it. I’m a big fan.

ZOE: What was your connection to the character of Michael Banks?

ALESSANDRO: He’s very funny, and thinks he knows everything, but really doesn’t. That’s something I like about him. He’s also very clever in a way that he’s not; he thinks he is but always gets the answers wrong. What’s important to him is that he answers it anyway, that’s what counts. Sometimes, he even gets caught and doesn’t know what to answer. It’s fun to play a character like that.

ZOE: What was the most difficult aspect of portraying the character of Michael Banks?

ALESSANDRO: It was just a challenge to actually be a part of the musical. I’ve watched Mary Poppins many times, but for this, I needed to really learn about him and what happened to his life. I needed to study it and put myself in his shoes. It was tough but worth it in the end. Even the fact that the musical is in French. My first language is English but I go to French school so it was a bit easier to memorize, but learning his specific accent was a bit more challenging.

ZOE: When did you know that this was something you were destined to do?

ALESSANDRO: This happened two years ago. My mom owns a dance studio so I always danced there. Then I started to take acting and singing classes and my mom realized that I was super good at this. She lined up auditions in a professional audition and we’ve been doing it ever since.

ZOE: What do you think 2017 has in store for you with regards to your theatre career?

ALESSANDRO: I’ll be a part of the Mary Poppins production that will be in Quebec City in the summer. Also, I was just cast in a lead role of an original musical starting this fall.

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