Review: Ensemble Numbers Hit The Mark In ‘Mary Poppins’
Cindy Wilkinson, a Denver-area nanny and winner of the International Nanny of the Year Award, provided CBS4 with the following review of the opening night of “Mary Poppins The Musical” at the Buell Theatre. The show runs through May 5.
As I was already familiar with the PL Travers storybook and Disney movie versions of the children’s classic, Mary Poppins, I had been filled with anticipation to see this story told in it’s newest form, now coming to life as a musical theater show.
When in NYC last summer, I had the pleasure of seeing the Broadway production. And, last night, I experienced the gift of seeing this show one more time, as Mary Poppins opened at the Buell Theatre.
To my delight, the audience was filled with folks, both young and old, many of them children, staying up well past their usual bedtimes to experience this evening of theatrical excitement. I know this story, and most of the songs in the score, by heart, as did so many others in the audience. Yet, through the talented cast and ingenious set designers, we were kept thoroughly entertained for the show’s duration.
The principals in the cast are all skillful performers, as are the strong team of supporting musical actors. A particular audience favorite is Miss Andrew, a woman who had once served as Mr. Bank’s nanny, now returning to care for his own children. She is an evil character who frightens us, as she does even Mr. Banks himself, with just the thought of her “over the top” methods of keeping children in line. But, with great comedic ease, she is able keep us all laughing, and the audience, while cringing in fear, is totally entertained by her humorous side.
While the singing by all the performers is right on, it’s the ensemble numbers which really hit the mark. The choreography of Supercalifragilisticexpialidosis is terrific, the staging of Let’s Go Fly a Kite is visually stunning, and the audience loves the many variations of the song Precision and Order. One special highlight of the show is the dance number Step in Time, truly a favorite of the evening, judging by the sounds of the audience’s enthusiastic applause!
Beyond all of the singing and dancing, the gorgeous sets and colorful costumes, we are left with a timeless story, one originally written in 1936. It tells of an imperfect, yet endearing family, struggling with day-to-day problems, struggles that most families can relate to. It tells of their relationship with a caring nanny called upon to help them through this difficult period in their life. And, once that this need has been filled, she moves on to care for other children, new charges whom she will care for, hopefully changing their lives for the better too.
And, what a wonderful way for folks, both young and old, to enjoy this story once again, whether they are life-long theater lovers, or attending their first theatrical performance. I give this show a thumbs up!!
RELATED: Mary Poppins Keeps Audiences Singing