He’ll sing! He’ll dance! He’ll fly!
Yes, when Michael Mesirow of Homewood stars as Bert in The Drama Group’s production of “Mary Poppins,” he’ll be flying.
“I remember during the audition the director, Andy Leahy asked me how I felt about heights,” Mesirow says with a laugh. “I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll also be upside down at one point.”
Rehearsals are in full swing for the production being staged at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, at Bloom Theatre at Bloom High School, 101 W. 10th St., Chicago Heights.
“I’m excited to get back to theater,” said the 2002 graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School. “I’ve been on stage since I was 5 years old. It’s in my blood,” but a tight work schedule gave him little free time. “I’d see a Drama Group performance or I’d go out to the theater and think ‘I should be up there.’ Now I finally am.”
Many know Bert as the chimney sweep made famous by Dick Van Dyke in Disney’s version of “Mary Poppins.” Mesirow says he’ll be true to the character but The Drama Group is using the Broadway script so the production doesn’t come out quite like the movie.
“Once I realized it was different, I spent a month to learn the Broadway script,” Mesirow said. “The part of Bert was relatively easy to learn because it’s more lyrics than lines.”
All the familiar songs, including “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “A Spoon Full of Sugar” are part of the show. Mesirow’s been rehearsing in front of a mirror and polishing up his dance routines in his living room.
“The characters are comparable, but the show focuses more on the family,” Mesirow noted.
He, too, has his own spin on family. This is the first time in a dozen years that he and his sister, Amanda Mesirow, also of Homewood, will be on stage together. She will play Miss Andrew, the less than warm nanny to Jane and Michael before Mary Poppins is hired.
“I’m excited to share the stage with my sister,” he said. They partnered in numerous shows growing up, including Amanda starring as Dorothy to his Scarecrow in a “Wizard of Oz” production.
Also starring in the production are ensemble members Linda Hart, Ruby Moxley of Geoffrey Purvis of Homewood and William Knox and Manny Sigale of Flossmoor. Purvis also plays businessman Northbrook.
Linda Hart is also production manager. Annette Sullivan of Homewood is assistant to the director. Bob Sullivan of Homewood is a set builder.
For ticket information, visit www.dramagroup.org.