Mi­randa says the danc­ing in ‘Pop­pins’ was chal­leng­ing

The Tribune (SLO) - - Espresso -

Work­ing on “Mary Pop­pins Re­turns” put Lin-Manuel Mi­randa in a com­fort zone, sort of.

The the­ater ac­tor, com­poser and cre­ator of the Broad­way smash “Hamil­ton” knew the film’s di­rec­tor, Rob Mar­shall, from such stage and screen cred­its as “Cabaret” and “Chicago.” And he knew the work of the com­posers, Marc Shaiman and Scot­tWittman of “Hair­spray” fame.

But there was one thing that didn’t come nat­u­rally to Mi­randa, even if he’s known as a mu­si­cal the­ater pioneer – the choreog- ra­phy.

“I think the danc­ing was the most chal­leng­ing as­pect for me, be­cause if you watch ‘Hamil­ton’ care­fully, there’s a lot of in­cred­i­ble danc­ing in there, Hamil­ton does al­most none of it. He’s stand­ing and he’s got a lot of words to say,” Mi­randa said.

The learn­ing curve was made a lit­tle eas­ier thanks to the film’s gen­er­ous nine-week re­hearsal pe­riod.

“What hap­pens when you do that with the film com­pany is, they be­come a com­pany. We were a com­pany of ac­tors to­gether by the time we were start­ing this jour­ney,” he said. “We all re­hearsed to­gether and that was for­mi­da­ble and made me feel at home.”

In the new film, Mi­randa plays Jack the lamp lighter op­po­site Emily Blunt’s Mary Pop­pins.

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