~ A New Story to Tell ~
In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss.
Michael Banks was just a child when the practically-perfect nanny Mary Poppins first visited the Banks home, but he is now a grown man with children of his own. A struggling artist temporarily employed by Fidelity Fiduciary Bank—the same financial institution where his father and grandfather worked before him—Michael lives at 17 Cherry Tree Lane with his children: Annabel, John and Georgie. Times are tough in Depression-era London. It’s the 1930s, and the city is in the midst of the “Great Slump,” so money is tight, people are anxious and the future is uncertain.
The family is struggling to cope with the recent death of Michael’s wife, and the house is rundown and in a constant state of chaos, despite the best efforts of their inefficient yet well-meaning and warmhearted housekeeper, Ellen. With the harsh reality of the times and the burden of their loss weighing heavily on the family, the children find themselves taking on additional responsibilities around the house…and growing up much too fast in the process.
His sister Jane has inherited her mother’s enthusiasm for good causes, and, while busy herself promoting workers’ rights, finds time to help Michael and his family every chance she gets. As it becomes more and more difficult for Michael to connect with his children while processing his own sorrow, the chairman of the bank, Mr. Wilkins—who appears to be a congenial and altruistic mentor to Michael but is actually duplicitous and shrewd—is in the process of foreclosing on the Banks home, sending the already frazzled Michael into a further tailspin.
Mary Poppins Returns in Theaters near you now!
1) Did you had to hold back, since you did not get to write or collaborate in any of the writing parts of Mary Poppins?
Exclusive Interview with Lin Manuel Miranda who interprets Jack In Mary Poppins Returns
All I ever wanted was a life making musicals, I did not write anything in Mary Poppins returns, I was just there as an actor and signer it was just a joy. I realized at 19, that as a Puerto Rican I was going to have to make my own musical, so getting the opportunity to work with people of this caliber is the fruit of all that hard work.
2) What would be the advise of the young people starting your footsteps
Start writing yesterday, and not because your first work is going to be any good, is not. If you are anything like me, your first work would be a poor attempt to sound like anything you love.
In chasing your heroes, trying to sound like Jay-Z or Jonathan Larson or (hero here), you find your voice along the way so the sooner your start the better.
3) How was for you to embark into a such well know character being a latino, and how do you see latinos in the Hollywood landscape?
Im very proud to be in this movie, you don’t associate latinos with Mary Poppins. I remember the trill when the Adams family movie came out and there is Raul Juliao (Puerto Rican) in a big screen movie as “Gomez Adams”with Angelica Houston and those other Hollywood stars. We don’t see ourselves nearly enough, so the lie that Hollywood, and it’s a lie, that diverse films don’t sell internationally its finally breaking down.
4) How was it to work with Dick Van Dyke and was Mary Poppins your favorite movie growing up?
Two thirds of Mary Poppins were my favorite parts and I watched in VHS, I don’t remember when it landed in my house but I remember spending many hours dancing with Dick Van Dyke dancing with those penguins during the holiday, but I would turn it off as soon as “Feed the Birds” came on, it was just too sad, its the saddest melody in the history of the world, it just broke my little heart and I just turned it off. I did not see the end of the movie (Step in time) until I was in high school.
Fast forward to getting to meet Dick Van Dyke, I talked to him about anything except Mary Poppins. We talked about “Bye Bye Birdie”which was his big break, we talked about working with Tito Rivera, working with Mary Tyler Moore, the Dick Van Dycke show, that he still signs at age 93 everything except Mary Poppins cause I could not wrap my mind to the fact that I am in a Mary Poppins movie with Dick Van Dyke.
5) Do you have a favorite soundtrack, composers, etc from growing up?
I feel very lucky that I came of age at a time when cassette was the dominant way of listening to music, I grew up of mix tape culture.everything I learned about writing cords, I learned making mixed cassettes for people I loved and for friends because they had to listed to them in order, and in the order I set.
I’m telling them how I feel about them by the choices of songs, and there is a rise and a fall, there is a side A and a side B just like musical theater, everything I learned about writing broadway scores I learned by mixing tapes for girls I liked.
6) What do you think of musicals today, in the era of digital and the cinema. Do you think that the audience is still interested as much as they were in the 50’s and the 60’s?
I think is not a coincidence that we are seeing the rise of the movie musical again in a very real way. I grew up in a fallow time for musicals, we had Fame we had Laberynt…the 80’s were rough for movie musicals guys. I loved all those movie musicals that I listed, but there weren’t that many and I don’t think its an accident that its coming back.
The only way it continues, is that we continue to innovate and push the form, Mary Poppins is very different than all theses other movie musicals (The greatest showman, LaLa land, Mama Mia Here we go again) as long as we continue to expand the boundaries of the kind of stories, as far as musicals can tell, we will be fine. Once we become a formula, we are dead. We need to keep inventing, Musicals are hard to make!