Back in 2014, composer-songwriter Marc Shaiman came across a vinyl copy of the “Mary Poppins” soundtrack album and created a Facebook video of himself dropping the needle onto the record, then sitting back in ecstasy. He called his video “Heaven.”
A few months later, he learned that the Walt Disney Studios was embarking on “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel to that 1964 classic, and he begged director Rob Marshall for the job of writing the songs (along with his co-lyricist Scott Wittman).
Repeated listens of the “Poppins” soundtrack — with its iconic, Oscar-winning tunes by brothers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman — formed the basis of “my entire musical life,” Shaiman says. “I learned everything about songwriting, arranging, orchestrating and writing for film from the ‘Mary Poppins’ soundtrack. For the first 18 years of my life, that was my school.”