Hingham’s Pecce has title role in ‘Mary Poppins’

WICKED LOCAL HINGHAM.com – Christina Pecce is not only a nanny in real life, she’s about to play a nanny in musical theater, too.

“I’m tapping into my inner magical nanny,” Pecce mused between rehearsals for The Company Theatre’s production of ‘Mary Poppins,” in which she has the title role.

A professional singing actress who soars on the wings of her operatic training, the lifelong Hingham resident is “a nanny on the side for extra income,” she said. “So the joke was that I kind of was already Mary Poppins, and now the opportunity has risen for me to play Mary Poppins. So it’s kind of ironic.”

Based on the book by P.J. Travers, and popularized by Walt Disney’s 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, “Mary Poppins” will open at The Company Theatre in Norwell on Friday night, Nov. 27, and run for 16 more shows until Dec. 20. Many shows sold out early, so for ticket information, call 781-871-2787.

“This is very exciting,” Pecce, 26, said. “It’s going to be a fun show for all ages.”

Pecce said that “as a kid” she saw the film version of Poppins “about 10 times, if not more. Anything that Julie Andrews was a part of I wanted to be a part of as well. I grew up singing all the roles that she’s performed.”

“Mary Poppins” takes place in London circa 1910, when the Banks family undergoes great change after nanny Poppins pops into their lives.

This is Pecce’s professional debut with The Company Theatre, but she’s no stranger to the organization. She attended its three-week summer theater arts program for eight years into her teens with lofty dreams of a career on stage. Many of those dreams have already come true, having acquired a résumé worthy enough for one twice her age.

The ever-busy soprano has appeared with the Boston Opera Collaborative, Fifth Floor Collective (a new music ensemble) in Boston, MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players, and Seagle Music Colony in the Adirondacks of New York. In fact, her first professional performance was with Seagle.

Pecce performed while at Hingham High School and then really picked up steam while studying at Hofstra University in New York, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music education. She got her master’s in opera performance as a scholarship student at The Boston Conservatory.

(For a look at Pecce’s lengthy list of credits, visit her Web site: christinapecce,com.)

Pecce met her husband, Keith Kusterer, at The Conservatory “when we were doing our master’s together,” Pecce said. Kusterer is a composer and musician, and Keith and Christina performed in his band, Keith Kusterer & The Goods. Kusterer is also service manager of Branch Line, a new restaurant that opened recently in Watertown.

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By Dick Trust, correspondent