SYNOPSIS: ACT I

  • Bert leads the audience to number 17 Cherry Tree Lane
  • After having the last nanny quit, Jane and Michael write an advertisement for their next nanny
  • Mary Poppins arrives
  • Children meet Bert and learn to look past outward
  • appearances
    • Winifred Banks sends out an invitation for a tea party
    • Mary takes the children to the bank where George Banks works
    • The children and Mary go see the Bird Woman
    • Mary takes the children to a magic sweet shop
    • George has been laid off his job because of the decisions he made while he children were there
    • Jane’s toys come alive during an argument with her father
    • Mary leaves

SYNOPSIS: ACT II

  • Winifred hires George’s childhood nanny for the children
  • George is terrified when he sees the nanny
  • The children run off to the park where they meet Bert once again
  • Mary returns, confronts the new nanny, and gives her a taste of her own medicine
  • Mary takes the children to see Bert and his fellow chimney sweeps
  • George decides to sell the vase, an item that has been in the family for years, but finds out it has been broken by the cook
  • As he tries to gather up the pieces, he finds an object from his
  • childhood
    • Winifred accompanies George to the bank
    • When he arrives at the bank, George is surprised to find out
    • that he made a lot of money for the bank
      • All is now well in the Banks’ household, and Mary realizes
      • that her work there is finished

CHARACTER DESCRIPTION: MARY POPPINS

  • The protagonist/hero of the play
  • A “practically perfect” nanny
  • Able to perform magic in order to teach the children lessons
  • Strict and wants to keep order, but also kind and loving towards the children
  • Dresses and looks very proper with a nice blouse and skirt or a dress
  • Wears an apron while at the house
  • Often wears a hat, gloves on her hands,
  • and something red
    • Many times seen holding an umbrella or
    • parasol

CHARACTER DESCRIPTION: GEORGE BANKS

  • The antagonist of the play
  • Mary’s employer
  • Wealthy
  • Works at a bank
  • Very controlling and not loving towards his wife and children
  • Dresses like a business man – a suit and
  • top hat
    • Looks very serious all the time

SUMMARY OF LYRICS AND ROLE IN THE MUSICAL

  • About a Bird Woman who appears to be homeless, and who sits in front of a cathedral selling crumbs to feed the birds.  The Bird Woman sits there and tells people that it only costs “tuppence a bag” to feed the birds.
  • It speaks of the importance of giving to those in need and the rewards for doing so
  • “Feed the Birds” is sung after the children visit their father at the bank.  It is sung as a duet between Mary Poppins and the Bird Woman.

THE ELEMENTS OF MUSIC

  • Form of the Melody:
  • An instrumental introduction, the chorus, a verse, the chorus, a variation of the chorus, a choir singing the chorus as sort of an interlude, a bridge, a variation of the chorus, and an instrumental conclusion
  • Instrumental introduction plays a part of the melody heard later in the song and tells the listener that it is a more solemn, hymn-like song
  • The chorus is organized in such a way that the first and third lines are the same melody, but with different words.  The same is true for the second and fourth lines, although there is a slight variation of the melody at the end of the lines.
  • Rhythm of the Melody:
  • In ¾ time
  • A slow tempo with a smooth, drawn-out feel
  • At the bridge, there seems to be a pick up in tempo, but it returns to the previous tempo as it moves into the variation of the chorus
  • Dynamics of the Melody:
  • The instrumental introduction starts off fairly loud at about a mezzo forte, but quickly drops to about a piano for the start of the chorus
  • During the chorus, the dynamics increase by the third line to about a mezzo piano as more instruments enter in the harmony
  • The bridge increases in dynamics even more to about a mezzo forte, but then drops back to a mezzo piano for the chorus

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