On the streets of Edwardian England, Bert, a mysterious jack-of all-trades, introduces the audience to Cherry Tree Lane -- the street on which the story begins (“Chim Chim Cher-ee (Opening)”). Bert shows the audience a house -- 17 Cherry Tree Lane -- which opens up to reveal the troubled Banks family and their employees: the rigid Mr. Banks; Winifred, his wife; their two spoiled children, Jane and Michael; Mrs. Brill, the cook; and Robertson Ay, the man-of-all-work. Jane and Michael, up to mischief, have chased away Katie Nanna, their old nanny, and run away which causes the servants in their house to complain and Winifred to fret about finding a new one that will meet her husband’s exacting standards (“Cherry Tree Lane Part 1”). George lays down the law in his house, expecting everything to run like clockwork; he begins to pen an advertisement for a new nanny when the children come to present their own, slightly more whimsical, list of qualifications (“The Perfect Nanny”).
Mary Poppins guide sections