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Community choir unveils Mary Poppins as major musical project for 2023

The Flin Flon Community Choir announced their next major musical project May 14 - and it promises to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
P19 Mary Poppins
Crystal Kolt holds up a poster for the Flin Flon Community Choir's planned 2023 performance of the musical Mary Poppins during a kick-off show at Johnny's Social Club May 14.

The Flin Flon Community Choir announced their next major musical project May 14 - and it promises to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Choir singers and conductor Crystal Kolt announced that Mary Poppins will be the show the choir will perform next May during a formal announcement show at Johnny's Social Club May 14, with choir members and collaborators regaling a crowd with selections from previous choir shows and other favourites and standards.

At the end of the night, choir members Angela Ishaka, Kim Jones and Katrina Windjack unofficially announced the show with a performance of "A Spoonful of Sugar", one of the musical's signature tunes, before Kolt held up an official poster proclaiming the show and its dates - May 5, 6 and 7, 2023, with performances at the R.H. Channing Auditorium.

The show will be first major choir production since 2019, when the choir performed Mamma Mia for four sold-out nights. The choir typically hosts a major production every two years, having performed shows like Chicago, Grease, Les Miserables and other Broadway faves, but was unable to host a show last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 show would have coincided with the choir's 25th anniversary.

"It's been an extraordinary journey from there being zero equipment, it had been 25 years since the glee club left and we built it up to this amazing level," Kolt said.

"We know that Flin Flon has a history of not just doing great things, but having great talent to do great things."

Kolt said that, unlike other shows like Les Miserables and Mamma Mia that her and the choir pursued for years before officially getting the rights to perform, the ability to showcase Mary Poppins almost fell into the choir's lap - and the chance to perform the show after the pandemic and after Hudbay's planned shutdown this year was a good fit.

"It became open - I don't know why, if it was because of COVID-19 or whatever, but it was no longer restricted," she said.

"I thought that we needed something magical and light and for family, wonderful and imaginative right now - we don't need anything dark."

Formal auditions for the show will likely start in October, with selections being made scripts getting out to leads before the holidays. From there, it will be a full production blitz, bringing in a director, building sets, producing the show and holding several rehearsals each week.

"There is so amazing about seeing this things that we love in performance - any kind of art form, whether it's visual arts, performing arts or the written word - in person," Kolt said.

"Seeing art or hearing people sing to you... the great thing about being in a venue like the Community Hall as opposed to a concert hall is that you are right there in the show."