A spoonful of sugar

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Leading Lumberjacks: Oakwood has been well known for years to have many students performing in Muse Machine productions. Twenty-one students from Oakwood were casted in the show. Photo taken from: musemachine.com

Mary Poppins hit the stage for Muse Machine’s annual winter performance. On Jan. 14-17th, people had the opportunity to go and watch this show, whose cast included 21 Oakwood students.

The show was extremely high energy and transported the audience into a fantasy world of dancing sweeps and sugar in absence of medicine.

One Oakwood student who participates in Muse Machine is senior, Emma Flanagan. She was a member of the ensemble and performed in various numbers throughout the show.

“My favorite song to perform in is “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. This dance number is my favorite because it is extremely fast paced and involves plenty of singing and dancing for the entire cast. Our cast recently learned how to spell all of the letters with our body. The choreography for this number is amazing, thanks to our wonderful choreographer, Lula Elzy,” Flanagan said.

Rachel Keyes, Oakwood Muse Machine Advisor, also expressed what her favorite thing about seeing the musicals every year is.

I always look forward to seeing my past students perform in the show. When you see them up on the stage, you feel so much pride in their talents and bravery. It takes a lot to go through the entire process- from auditions, to rehearsals, to tech nights, to opening night. They are brave, they are talented, and I love them all,” Keyes said.

The show had over 200 actors, singers, dancers and musicians to bring a classic movie to the stage. Muse Machine strives every year to make their performances unique and special for the audience watching.

The cast and crew for this musical was extremely close and got along really well according to Flanagan.

Since cast members are typically downtown for rehearsal between 5-7 days a week, I truly enjoy hanging out and getting to know fellow members in the cast. While being downtown for over 42 hours a week can be a lot to handle, being surrounded by some of my best friends everyday to create a wonderful show is well worth it,” Flanagan said.

Tessa Shade (12) worked backstage as a production assistant for the show to make sure everything ran smoothly. She has been a part of previous Muse performances, but decided to do backstage crew instead this year.

Every year the show is different so it’s always a surprise to see who gets what part. Even as a production assistant the experience is always different because the seniors leave and new members are cast,” Shade said.

The musical was directed and produced by Douglas Merk. According to Dayton Most Metro, Merk said, “Muse’s relationship with Poppins is a long one. Decades ago, we approached Disney about allowing us to adapt it to the stage. We can now reveal that our very late announcement last fall was because we were working with Disney Theatricals to present Poppins then.”

The shows five performances over the course of four days ran smoothly and successfully. The cast even performed some of the numbers again for the crowd during curtain call.

Flanagan said, “Muse Machine worked for countless hours and continued to do so until opening night to exceed all expectations to amaze all that came to the performances.”

By Hollis Couch





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