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Mary Poppins landing in Cortez

Cast members of Montezuma-Cortez High School's production of "Mary Poppins" rehearse ahead of the play's opening. (Courtesy Nicholaus Sandner)
Montezuma-Cortez High School performances of magical tale take to the stage this weekend and next

Mary Poppins, umbrella in hand and magic swirling about her, is floating down from the sky and into Cortez.

A rendition of the beloved Walt Disney story, “Mary Poppins,” is opening tonight at 7 p.m. in Montezuma-Cortez High School’s Ralph Vavak Auditorium, but with a twist.

The musical will blend elements of the film as well as the stories by P.L. Travers, delivering an engaging mix of familiar and new plot components.

“It creates some some good opportunities for some new story elements that people won't necessarily know from the movie,” said theater Director Nicholaus Sandner.

The show will continue with performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and again on March 25 and March 26.

Nearly 90 students and community members are involved in the performance, behind-the-scenes production, and an accompanying orchestra.

Because of COVID-19, the theater department paused its practice of inviting the community to participate in productions, but was able to once again recruit younger kids and adults to bring the magic of Mary Poppins to Cortez. Some entire families take part.

“It’s been a fun way to build the community,” Sandner said.

The show’s debut is a meaningful moment for the theater department after it was postponed a year because of the pandemic and resulting restrictions.

“I’m glad we did, because we're able to do it big and have lots of people involved. And really, it's a great show to really celebrate being able to come back to live theater again,” Sandner said.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, and free for kids five and under.

They can be purchased at mchsdrama.org.