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Mobile dining room, Gladys Knight, virtual dance marathon: News from around our 50 states



Actress Julie Andrews sent a personal letter to Prattville Christian Academy theater students after the death of their director Joey B. Fine.

Prattville: Mary Poppins is well-known for swooping in unexpectedly to lift the spirits of young people in need – just what the woman who played her in 1964 has done for a group of Prattville Christian Academy students in mourning. Joey B. Fine, 48, who died in January from complications of COVID-19, was the founding pastor at Seasons Church in Prattville and Prattville Christian’s benefit play director. He’d been working with a student cast from grades 6-12 on a production of “Mary Poppins Jr.” “As high school students, for a lot of them this was their first big loss,” said Rebecca W. Thomas, marketing and communications director for PCA. After Fine’s death, a cast member’s parent had the idea to make contact with Andrews and, after days of research and many emails, reached Andrews’ manager. Soon afterwards, Andrews sent the PCA cast a personalized letter: “Hello Everybody! Greetings to you all. A little bird told me that you have been working on a special benefit production of ‘Mary Poppins.’ Great! I am sending you warmest wishes for success. Do it in honor of Mr. Fine. He must have been a really nice guy. Remember, also, to enjoy yourselves and give the audience the gift of this magical show. With love, Julie Andrews.”


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