Mary Poppins Monday: Extraordinary Lobby Decorations

photo 3A new production is getting underway– Mary Poppins— and that means a brand-new blog series highlighting the various aspects of the show!

To kick off our first Mary Poppins Monday blog post, we wanted to showcase the first thing fans will see when visiting Arkansas Repertory Theatre: the lobby!

This spring when patrons take a step in the lobby, they will be transported to a whimsical land fit for Mary Poppins and her proper ways.

From colorful kites and puffs of cotton emulating clouds to delicate arrangements and intricate cutouts of London-town and Mary Poppins, herself, patrons will be singing a “Spoonful of Sugar” or “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” upon their arrival!

Decorations were created by the theatre’s Stagehands group, whose mission is to welcome and provide hospitality to The Rep’s visiting actors, directors and technical crew. With her vast interior design experience, Penny Beebe led the colorful project that has taken over the lobby.photo 5

“[The Stagehands and I] discussed the music itself and the various scenes within the movie and the musical,” she said, “and decided to focus on the main character Mary Poppins. [We] thought it would be really special if we could somehow make her fly in and amongst some big, billowy clouds.”

To create Mary Poppins’ silhouette, Beebe looked at various photos and decided on one that was “practically perfect in every way.” She first enlarged her picture with an old-fashioned overhead projector that teachers used to use to teach their lessons and she blew her up on a wall and got the outline.

photo 4“From there, it needed to be transferred to foam board. The problem was she didn’t fit on just one piece. It took five pieces of foam board to create Mary Poppins as she was about nine feet in length– from the top of her umbrella to the end of her carpet bag,” Beebe said.

And it wasn’t that easy to install– it took three people on two tall ladders to get her into place!

As for the fluffy clouds you seeing hanging overhead, Beebe used five paper honeycomb balls–the kind that fan out use for decoration for parties– and tied them all together as the basis for the cloud. She then hot glued stuffing in the holes, creating a cloud-like appearance.

Additionally, the creative group loved the idea of hanging various sizes and colors of kites from the ceiling and wrapping the room with the letters and actual word of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

photoAnd if you look on the outside windows, you might notice the outline of a chimney or two– think “Chim Chim Cher-ee”!

“We chatted about Bert and the chimney sweep scene and that inspired us with the idea of creating a silhouette of that particular scene,” Beebe said, “one we could display on the windows in the lobby so that it could be seen from both the interior and exterior of the building as well.”

Kite strings, parasols and centerpieces for each table (with clear vases held in sugar cubes) rounded out the gorgeous decorations for the lobby.

photo 1“We are all excited about Mary Poppins! Here’s to a another successful event!” Beebe said.

Mary Poppins will take The Rep stage from March 6 and will run through April 12. Get your tickets to this Disney musical by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405 or by visiting TheRep.org.

Thank you our wonderful Stagehands group for their wonderful work on the decorations!

Don’t Miss Elf Carbaret on Monday

171What are you doing this Monday, Dec. 15?

Join the Elf cast members as they perform their favorites in cabaret style!

Emceed by Ethan Paulini (Buddy the Elf) with musical accompaniment by Elf Musical Director Mark Binns, the fun show will feature 15 of the cast, including members from both the ensemble and principal cast. Get ready for eclectic mix of holiday songs, musical theatre tunes and jazz standards, performed solo and in duets!
The cabaret will begin at 7 p.m. in the lobby of Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St., Little Rock, with registration and a cash bar open at 6:30 p.m. A reservation is required. Individual tickets are $30 and couples are $50.

To reserve your seat, contact the Box Office at (501) 378-0405.Ticket sales from this event support the volunteer auxiliary group, The Stagehands, whose mission is to welcome and provide hospitality to The Rep’s visiting actors, directors and technical crew.

Get more information about the show here!