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    Don't FUSS with me. :) MI Premium Member
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    OPENING NIGHT: Mary Poppins Sing-A-Long At the El Capitan!



    The Mary Poppins marquee at the El Capitan.



    The marquee also alternated to advertise Peter Pan, coming to the El Cap February 1-15 to commemorate the DVD release.



    Mary Poppins was inside the theatre greeting guests and welcoming them to the theatre.



    Theatre organist Rob Richards, in jolly holiday attire, entertained before the show.

    The evening started off with an un-introduced clip of a Mexican group performing for Walt Disney. I will follow the same example and leave the clip un-introduced but I highly suggest viewing for a taste of Disney past and a rarely seen clip of Unky Walt...

    Video Clip 1: Trio Con El performing for Walt Disney.
    RealPlayer - 3 minutes, 52 seconds.
    Download: High Bandwidth (12.5 megs)

    *CLIP SPOILER*
    For those who care not (or cannot) download the clip, it is of Walt Disney with the group Trio Con El. He asks them to play a song that he heard them play when he saw them down in Mexico. He couldn't quite remember the title of it in Spanish but he said that it sounded quite familiar. They ponder it a bit and realize just what song he means. They proceed to play "Supercalifragilisticoespialidoso," the Spanish counter-part to the well known tongue-twisting song from Mary Poppins.
    *END CLIP SPOILER*


    Disneyana expert and former-Imagineer Tim O'Day lead the panel for the evening. He welcomed the crowd, talking briefly about Mary Poppins, and proceeded to introduce the special panelist for the evening: Richard Sherman. Needing no introduction among the world of Disney fans, Richard (along with his brother Robert) co-wrote various classic Disney tunes over the past few decades. Their most note-worthy work, however, was probably their composition of the songs and score for Mary Poppins which ultimately won them two Academy Awards in 1965.



    During the panel, O'Day and Sherman recalled various tunes, anecdotes, and stories. Richard recalled the first major hit that he and Robert wrote; "You're 16" which was originally performed by Johnny Burnette (and later covered by Ringo Starr). It wasn't until 1958, though, when Walt Disney took special notice of the "Sherman Brothers." They had a hit on their hands with "Tall Paul" performed by Mouseketeer Annette Funicello which is the song that caught Walt's ear. Richard also noted his involvement with 1961's The Parent Trap which was one of the first live-action films in which he and Robert wrote music for Walt Disney. The video linked below is of Sherman performing these songs live at the El Capitan.

    Video Clip 2: Richard Sherman on piano.
    RealPlayer - 1 minute, 27 seconds.
    Download: High Bandwidth (4.68 megs)

    After Walt Disney's passing in 1966 the Sherman Brothers continued making music for the Disney company. Richard fondly recalled the theme song that he and Robert wrote for a certain willy-nilly silly old bear. He proceeded to play the title theme from 1977's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as well as "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers."

    He also noted that a lot of peoples' favorite Disney film isn't really a Disney film at all. Richard and Robert wrote "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and other songs for Bedknobs and Broomsticks; a film that is continually mistaken as a Disney creation. Another gem that O'Day commented on was the Sherman Brothers' work in 1967 on The Jungle Book; in particular, the comedic ape-king's anthem "I Wanna Be Like You." However, it was while Walt was still alive that they wrote their, arguably, most famous and memorable song of all time: "It's a Small World (After All.)"

    Video Clip 3: Richard Sherman on piano.
    RealPlayer - 2 minutes, 40 seconds.
    Download: High Bandwidth (8.66 megs)

    [break]
    In regards to the work done for Mary Poppins, Richard recalled that he and Robert were given a copy of a Mary Poppins book to read from to draw inspiration for the film. They were to highlight chapters and stories from the book that they thought would make interesting scenes and songs. After a few days Richard and Robert had highlighted six different chapters and went to Walt to compare notes. Richard recalls handing the book over to Walt who laughed after looking through their work. Walt pulled out his own personal copy and handed it to them. It turned out that Walt had highlighted the exact same six chapters. The team was destined to work together on the film.

    Destiny would step in again for the song "A Spoonful of Sugar." Julie Andrews, after previewing all of the completed songs for the film, commented to Walt that she did not care for a particular slow-song during a moment in the film that she thought should be more lively. Richard recalls he and his brother wanting the replacement song to be upbeat and have a catchy tagline. That next morning, Richard remembered Robert coming into the office, glassy-eyed, telling him about his son having received the polio vaccine on a cube of sugar. "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down?" Richard remembers telling Robert, "that's the worst idea--no no, that's the best idea I've ever heard!"


    Richard also recalled writing various songs for the film but Walt commenting that the songs did not have an English turn-of-the-century sound. One of those songs was "Jolly Holiday" from which Richard played a short clip. Another song Richard recalled fine-tuning was "Chim Chim Cher-Ee" which he ironically hated at first. After some thought, it was re-harmonized into what would become the memorable Oscar-winning song.

    Morphing and changing songs was almost more the rule than the exception. "Sister Suffragette" was another song Richard recalled having to create and modify. Walt really wanted actress Glynnis Johns to portray Mrs. Banks but she was concerned that she did not have a single number in the film. Walt assured Johns that Richard and Robert were just crossing the T's and dotting the I's on her very own number and that it would be ready in a few days. "We had nothing," Richard commented, "we had no idea what he was talking about!" Richard and Robert were lucky to receive the news on a Friday. They had the weekend to transform an unused jingle that they had written ("Practically Perfect") into a song just for Johns. And so Mrs. Banks had her moment in the spotlight singing "Sister Suffragette."

    Video Clip 4: Richard Sherman on piano.
    RealPlayer - 1 minute, 53 seconds.
    Download: High Bandwidth (6.09 megs)

    [break]

    Richard also went on to comment that "Let's Go Fly a Kite" was inspired from his own personal experience. He and Robert fondly remembered their father taking them out to make kites and then send them soaring in the air. Richard also commented that he remembered Walt's initial reaction after hearing "Feed the Birds" for the first time. "That's what it's all about isn't it?" Walt said, "Tuppence a bag." Walt was touched by the simple sentiment of the song; that it requires so little to show so much love and appreciation. It instantly became one of Walt's all-time favorite songs. In fact, on Fridays, he would ask Richard and Robert to come into his office to chat with them and then ask them to "play that song, play that bird lady song."

    O'Day then went on to introduce a story that I personally find quite touching. If you own the Mary Poppins DVD you can see the footage that they reference. In December 2001, during the dedication of the Partners Statue at Disneyland, Richard played a few songs on the piano in memory of Walt. It was while he was playing "Feed the Birds" that, in a bird-less sky, a single bird flew overhead. Not realizing it himself, Richard wondered why the entire audience had gasped during the song. It was not until he viewed the footage a few days later that he saw the bird. To this day Richard is convinced that it was Walt.

    Video Clip 5: Richard Sherman on piano.
    RealPlayer - 3 minutes, 48 seconds.
    Download: High Bandwidth (12.3 megs)

    On a lighter note, O'Day reminds Richard of a certain tongue twister that he and Robert created together. Making reference to the Spanish version played earlier that evening, Richard began playing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." In his charismatic way, he interrupts himself half-way through the chorus telling the audience that the long word could be said backwards. "Dociousaliexpisticfragicalirupus--Don't try it," he said, "but it's a different word!" Richard proceeded to tell a story of when he and some friends gathered around a piano to reminisce. He wanted to share that supercalifragilisticexpialidocious moment with the audience so the lights dimmed and a clip began to play. If you have the DVD, you'll remember the bit from the wonderful bonus feature "A Magical Musical Reunion: With Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, & Richard Sherman"


    Once the video clip concludes, Richard is alone on the stage and the curtain drops. He talks about the Broadway musical version of the film, mentioning that the original songs are used as well as several new ones. He remarked that it was very nicely done and commented that supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is spelled out in the musical. The word is also sung backwards correctly, not just the psuedo-backwards version that Julie Andrews sang, but the actual word as it should sound if pronounced backwards. During the engagement of the film at the El Capitan, you can enter a contest for a chance to win four tickets to the musical as well as airfare to New York.

    Video Clip 6: Richard Sherman on piano.
    RealPlayer - 3 minutes, 16 seconds.
    Download: High Bandwidth (10.5 megs)

    After thanking everyone on behalf of himself and his brother, Richard Sherman took his bow and left the stage. The film began, sing-a-long tracks and all, and was a lot of fun to sit and watch. Most everyone in the audience was singing and it was a real joy to experience the film in this way. Afterwards, we entered ourselves in the contest and then made our way over to the adjacent Soda Fountain shop.

    [break]

    Inside the Soda Fountain shop is a bevy of Poppins merchandise. Supercali... t-shirts, Mary Poppins dolls, mugs, and extraordinary-smelling Cherry Blossom candles were available.



    Other goodies included fancy pens, carpet bag key-chains, and if you look in the top left corner of the photograph, Mary Poppins parrot-handled umbrellas!



    New inside the El Cap, we noticed that your family/name can be up in lights on the El Capitan marquee in your very own customizable photo.


    [break]

    We treated ourselves to the special Chimney Sweep sundae which consisted of cookie n' cream ice cream, hot fudge, marshmallow topping, Oreo "soot", and a chocolate-covered wafer "chimney." There was even a sweep's broom made of a chocolate covered marshmallow (topped with chocolate sprinkles for the bristles) and a pretzel-stick handle.



    Afterwards, we ran into the lovely Margaret Kerry-Wilcox. She was the original body model for Tinker Bell during the production of Peter Pan. She was an absolute pleasure to speak with; in fact, we chatted with her for ten minutes or so. She told us that she was asked to do the panel discussion for the El Cap presentation of Peter Pan next month and that Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Wendy, who we met at another El Cap screening) will also probably be on the panel.



    Thinking we'd experienced more than our share of Disney magic for the evening, we started making our way to the car. Just as we were exiting the Soda Fountain Shop, however, who do our gleaming eyes does appear but Richard Sherman and Kathryn Beaumont! It was now close to an hour after the movie had concluded and they were making their way out of the theatre and into the Soda Fountain Shop. They seemed quite frazzled from the evening and in a bit of a rush so we only spoke very briefly with them. Richard asked us if we enjoyed the show (to which I managed to stammer out--Ye-yes yes! I am a big fan of your work.)

    Only one word sums it all up, I guess. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

    THE END!

    _________________________

    "Mary Poppins: Sing-a-Long" at the El Capitan

    Treat yourself to the most joyus musical fantasy ever created. Experience Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins" in a whole new way--this this sing along to all your favorite songs with the words projected right on the screen! Plus a special live appearance by Mary Poppins! Once there, you can also enter for a chance to win tickets (plus airfare) to see Mary Poppins the musical live on Broadway.

    Admission:
    Adults* - $10
    Child (3-11) - $9
    Senior (60+) - $9
    Group Rate (Groups of 20 or more) - $8
    *Adult: $12 for all shows after 6pm.
    VIP Admission (includes popcorn, soft drink, a reserved seat and no waiting in line) - $20
    Rating: G
    Length: 98 min.

    Showtimes: 10:00 AM, 1:10 PM, 4:20 PM, 7:30 PM, 10:15 PM.

    Tickets:
    To order tickets you can call 1-800-DISNEY6 or go to El Capitan | Disney


    THE END!

    Please use the COMMENT feature to discuss this article!

    For corrections please e-mail me, dlfreak, @mouseinfo.com

    ____________________

    Unless otherwise noted, photographs in this update were taken with a Kodak EasyShare p850 camera.



    Last edited by dlfreak; 05-10-2010 at 11:07 AM.
    Joey AKA "dlfreak"
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  2. #2
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    Great article!! Thanks for the coverage!


    Just so you know though, the last video is a repeat of the one before it. Thought I'd pass that along.
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  3. #3
    Meeska-Mooska-Mouseketeer MI Lead Moderator smitty-78's Avatar
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    What a super duper artical dlfreak!
    Today's going to be a beautiful, busy day, and "we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future." —Walt Disney

  4. #4
    Meeska-Mooska-Mouseketeer MI Lead Moderator smitty-78's Avatar
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    Hey dlfreak how much do the Mary Poppins parrot-handled umbrellas go for???
    Today's going to be a beautiful, busy day, and "we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future." —Walt Disney

  5. #5
    Don't FUSS with me. :) MI Premium Member
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    Oh shoot, thanks 1foolishmortal, I'll have those videos fixed in a flash.
    Joey AKA "dlfreak"
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    I'm addicted to Disneyland. Disneyland hobbies are expensive. If I become a bum people are going to say "Don't give him money, he's just gonna use it on Disneyland."
    Disneyland. My Anti-drug.

  6. #6
    Don't FUSS with me. :) MI Premium Member
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    Videos should be fixed now!
    Joey AKA "dlfreak"
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    I'm addicted to Disneyland. Disneyland hobbies are expensive. If I become a bum people are going to say "Don't give him money, he's just gonna use it on Disneyland."
    Disneyland. My Anti-drug.

  7. #7
    2,000 Plus Club Member MI Premium Member Disneymomof4's Avatar
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    Thats awesome dlfreak....I am so jealous!
    I miss Animazement!!!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator MI Lead Moderator Iframedroger R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty-78 View Post
    Hey dlfreak how much do the Mary Poppins parrot-handled umbrellas go for???
    http://disneyshopping.go.com/webapp/...tegoryId=14732

  9. #9
    Don't FUSS with me. :) MI Premium Member
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    ^Yep. They have most of that at the El Cap and at those prices, too. The candle smells amazing, I don't see that on that web-site but for more of that merchandise, you can visit here:

    http://disneyshopping.go.com/webapp/..._productID&Ns=
    Joey AKA "dlfreak"
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    I'm addicted to Disneyland. Disneyland hobbies are expensive. If I become a bum people are going to say "Don't give him money, he's just gonna use it on Disneyland."
    Disneyland. My Anti-drug.

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    Meeska-Mooska-Mouseketeer MI Lead Moderator smitty-78's Avatar
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    Thanks Framed
    Today's going to be a beautiful, busy day, and "we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future." —Walt Disney

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