Thanks to Storm Sandy, the more-than-expected nor’easter, and the not-weather-related problem with the septic system at the theater earlier in the week, there had been no full run through of the play directed by Andrews and based on the book written with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton.
Despite the pre-opening butterflies however, Andrews was gracious, enthused and kind, assuring some young visitors that she was indeed the movie’s “Mary Poppins” and proving it by handily spouting off the film’s most famous word, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious both forward and backward, docious-ali-expi-istic-fragil-cali-rupus, just as her movie character had done in the 1964 film.
Her concerns over the show about a band of mice who love to perform in a Broadway theater cellar, seemed unfounded as it had already been extended to Dec. 9 even before it opened.
“People must be crazy or very kind,” she said modestly about the additional dates. Her daughter and book co-author is scheduled to come to Saturday’s show.
Andrews wasn’t the only star power in the house. Also attending was actor/singer John Davidson, best known for his own variety show, guest appearances on a slew of tv shows, his work on Broadway , his career as a quiz show host and then there was that Cosmopolitan centerfold.
“I’m here to see a friend who is in the show,” said Davidson who soon attracted fans who recognized him from television. Davidson’s friend, Jeremiah James, plays Sky in the production.
Getting ready to open in an off- Broadway revival of The Fantasticks, Davidson will play Bellamy.
Davidson, who has performed on Broadway in the musical classic before, attended the local show with wife Rhonda.
“This show is so inventive and so entertaining,” enthused Davidson during the intermission. “It is wonderful.”
It was also a great night for Heilser’s father, Jerry, who traveled from California to see the show.
“I am just so proud of her,” he said grinning. “She did a fabulous job.”