By: Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, based on book by P.L. Travers
Produced by: Hillbarn Theatre
Directed by: Dan Demers
Choreographed by: Michelle Shannon
Music direction by: Gregory Cheng
Featuring:Caitlin McGinty, Jim Ambler, Katherine Stein, Fred Feizollllahi, Katie Maupin, Andrew Marheineke, Darnline Batchelder, Noah Boger, Rebecca Cartetis, Evelyn Chan, Alyson Chilton, Gary Giurbino, Sarah Hammond, Abby Haug, Paris, Howard, Tristan Howard, Ron Lopez, Michelle M. Jenni Martin, Elana Ron, Katherine Stein, Jay Thulien, Lisa W. Molly Zwiebach, Paul Estioko, Regina Quigley, Susie Toussaint and Kyle Arrouzet
When: November 25 through December 18, 2016
Where: Hillbarn Theatre, 1285 East Hillsdale Boulevard, Foster City
Tickets: $45-$48. Call 650-349-6422, extension 2, or visit www.hillbarntheatre.org
Read John Orr's review of "Mary Poppins."
more magical than most
old pal Dan Demers to bring Disney musical to life
Mary Poppins should be so magical, as to live the life of Caitlin McGinty, who plays Mary Poppins in the musical that opens today at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City.
Consider this: God and/or genetics gifted her with height (6 feet in her bare feet, McGinty said in a recent phone interview), red hair, pale blue eyes and a beautiful singing voice.
And consider this: She hadn't seen Richie Beanan for years, after having met him in Pasadena in 2007, when she thought he was "super dreamy," but he didn't quite catch on to her amazingness. After making friends again on social media in 2011 (Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg), they decided to meet again, and after all six feet of Caitlin rose to the top of an escalator at Penn Station to meet him for the first time in four years, she planted a huge kiss on him.
Consider this: In 2014, after McGinty sang the national anthem at AT&T Park with her buddies Shawna McNulty and Ellen Toscano, Beanan rushed out on the field in a Buster Posey jersey, carrying a big rock on a ring, and asked her to marry him. Here's a video of that event. Watch it till the end for a cute joke from the announcer.
And consider this: While she has always been a singer, she didn't catch the actual musical-theater bug till just before high school, has since gone on to do shows on both coasts, and did a six-year tour with Beach Blanket Babylon.
And, consider one more thing (at least): Raised in San Mateo, while a student at Notre Dame High School, she made friends with Dan Demers, who was a student at Serra High School. He is now the executive artistic director of Hillbarn Theatre, and is directing McGinty in "Mary Poppins."
Lucky me, I got to speak with McGinty by phone on November 21, 2016, her 32nd birthday.
Demers and McGinty "grew up together," she said. In their high school days, "we did shows together, back then, became very good friends. Now is the first time since then that I have worked with Dan.
"It's been great it's a perfect show for Dan ... It's a smaller space, not a huge Broadway space. But the sets are incredible, and we're getting the flying in. I'm pinching myself that I get to do this with him."
Pinching makes sense. Demers has proven himself a creative master of musical comedies, finding ways to inject new magic into shows such as "Funny Girl," "Spamalot!" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
McGinty is also happy about her Bert in this show, played by Jim Ambler.
"He's a wonderful Bert," McGinty said. "Fabulous. I connected with him immediately at callback. It felt like we'd been friends forever. ... Dancing at callback with this guy, it felt so easy and comfortable."
McGinty said she had a great time at Beach Blanket Babylon. She did three years there, then went to New York for two years, then came back to Beach Blanket Babylon for another three years.
"Beach Blanket Babylon was awesome," McGinty said. "It was fast paced and crazy and larger than life. It was a family there. Some of my very, very, very, dearest friends I met there. When I lived in New Y ork for about two years, I would come back for the New Year's Eve party."
But, McGinty didn't want that crazy, eight-shows-a-week schedule with Beach Blanket Babylon anymore, so started working at another business for which she had studied, real estate.
Consider this: McGinty is a Realtor.
"I didn't want that schedule anymore," she said. "I wanted a little more flexibility."
So, the musicals star now works at Marshall Realty, which is based in San Bruno, and has another office in San Carlos.
McGinty, when she's doing the Realtor thing instead of the actor/singer thing, can be found in Marshall Realty's San Bruno office, or "a lot of the time, my car is my office."
Her car, should you be in the market for a Realtor, is a Mazda CX5.
She's doing this "Mary Poppins," she said, to see how it would go to do a big show while also working as a Realtor.
"And it worked," she said. "But it was a lot. I'm Mary Poppins I have to be there for every rehearsal."
So while she will continue doing musical theater, she won't just hop from show to show. She has a job, she has a husband with whom she wants to spend some time. "He makes me laugh a lot," she said, "which is an important thing. And he's not bad to look at, either."
"I'll be patient, wait for the right show," she said. "I'll do one or two shows a year. And I've thought of doing a cabaret show."
Email John Orr at firstname.lastname@example.org