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eatdrink: The Local Food & Drink Magazine November/December2019 | 53 Theatre Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins is at The Grand for the Holidays By JANE ANTONIAK Imagine a five-year-old boy taken by his grandmother to see his first live theatre performance. It’s a musical extravaganza at The Grand Theatre about the life of Barnum — of circus fame. The child sits in awe. His life in theatre has begun. Imagine a four-year-old girl taken by her mother to see her first live theatre performance in 2019. It’s a musical extravaganza at The Grand Theatre with her uncle as Bert, in Mary Poppins this holiday season. Her uncle was that five-year old boy. Mark Uhre’s theatre career comes full circle November 26 to December 29 when he steps onto the stage to perform for the next generation of theatregoers, including his niece. “It’s a great feeling to return to the place where everything started. Growing up I always loved coming downtown during the holidays,” says Uhre in an interview with Eatdrink. “Mary Poppins will be my niece’s first show so we are all excited and pretty emotional, as it is a special story from our own childhood,” he adds. Uhre’s first role was at the Grand in 1992. He was 12 years old when he played in A Christmas Carol, which starred the legendary Canadian actor William Hutt. While studying at Beal Secondary School in London in 1998, Uhre starred as Tony in a High School Production of West Side Story. “That was it. I started focusing on theatre and music as a career, rather than visual art. The Grand has been a huge part of my development as an artist.” And what a career! Uhre made it to Broadway as Enjolras in Les Misérables in 2016. He says he has been very fortunate to play major stages here in Canada, including Stratford and Shaw, as well as in the U.K. “When Broadway came along it was an amazing surprise and was a really special time. It also put a great deal into perspective for Mark Uhre stars as Bert in Mary Poppins, at The Grand Theatre. He’s also an artist; here he stands in front of one of his paintings (hanging in Revel Cafe in Stratford).