Iconic Actress Surprises Mary Poppins, Jr. Cast Members with Letter of Encouragement

 In Arts, School News

After the loss of PCA’s benefit play director Joey Fine earlier this year, the student cast of Mary Poppins, Jr. needed something special to help them pick up the pieces and carry on in honor of their beloved friend, mentor, and community director. Mr. Fine was in his second year as the school’s benefit play director and had been working with this show’s cast since the school year began in August 2020.

As the cast, comprised of students in grades 6-12, struggled to know that the “show must go on,” an idea was born while a cast parent was reading an article about Julie Andrews, the iconic Mary Poppins in the 1964 film debate of the classic musical, narrating a new Netflix show. “I immediately thought how cool it would be to have the original Mary Poppins send a note of encouragement to the cast.” After a couple of days of research and numerous emails, she was able to make contact with Dame Julie Andrews’ manager. “I let him know about the cast and the recent loss of their director, and I was shocked when he reached out and sent a personalized letter.”

Hello Everybody!

Greetings to you all. A little bird told me that you have been
working on a special benefit production of “Mary Poppins.”

I am sending you warmest wishes for success. Do it in honor
of Mr. Fine. He must have been a really nice guy.

Remember, also, to enjoy yourselves and give the audience the
gift of this magical show.

With love,

Julie Andrews

The cast’s initial disbelief instantly gave way to gasps of excitement and astonishment as students were given a personal copy of the letter during play practice on Wednesday afternoon. The award-winning actress’s words rang clear as a reminder that the show must go on in honor of Mr. Fine. Through the tears, cast members agreed that Joey would have wanted nothing less than a stellar performance despite his absence.

“Joey loved theatre, and he especially enjoyed working with this talented cast of kids from PCA,” said Tammy Fine, the wife of the late Joey Fine. “While we are very sad that he isn’t here to follow this production through, I know he would be so proud of these students for pressing on and pulling this show together.”

These PCA students will forever have this “practically perfect” reminder of all those who support them – near and far!

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