Mary Poppins headlines 2019 HSF lineup

The story of the world’s most magical nanny is touching down in Haliburton next summer as the stage musical Mary Poppins is set to open the Highlands Summer Festival.  The festival announced its lineup for its 20th annual event at McKeck’s Tap and Grill to a crowd of volunteers Nov. 18. The 2019 lineup includes three in-house productions, leading off with Mary Poppins June 30, as well as the plays Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks and The Ladies Foursome.  The season will also feature two external productions: the one-woman show Trudeau Stories and the TorQ Percussion Ensemble.  Festival artistic producer Scot Denton said this year’s festival has good variety.  “It’s quite a nice mixed event. We’ve got three things that are quite musical,” Denton said. “There’s comedy and it’s a nice mix of stuff, so I’m very pleased.”  Outgoing festival president Jack Brezina said he expects the famed Mary Poppins to bring in a wide-ranging crowd.  “Mary Poppins is a really popular musical. It appeals to a wide section of our community with the children’s aspect,” Brezina said. “We’ll have young people as well as parents or grandparents coming with them, so I’m looking forward to that.”  Festival volunteer Daniel Martiens said he is looking forward to the entire 2019 festival lineup.  “Mary Poppins is a wonderful musical,” he said. “All the smaller shows, as well, all sound like something that I might go to, because they all just sound very interesting in their own way. It’s going to be super exciting.”  The festival had a small deficit in 2018, Denton said. He added that did not influence the lineup choices, but he was glad to get a musical as popular as Mary Poppins.  “I have a feeling it will be gone at this time next year,” Denton said of the deficit. “Certainly, I was glad to find that Mary Poppins was a show that we could take pleasure in doing, because it’s likely to be popular.”  Tickets and passes are now on sale for the 2019 festival at highlandssummmerfestival.on.ca. Passes to see all five productions are $160, while single tickets are $37.50.

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