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Mary Poppins
a Musical
by Book - Julian Fellowes; Songs - Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman, George Stiles & Anthony Drewe

COMPANY : Broadway Across America [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The Fabulous Fox [WEBSITE]
ID# 3719

SHOWING : April 29, 2010 - May 16, 2010



The world’s most famous nanny is coming to you! Combining the best of the original stories by P. L. Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film, the Tony® Award-winning MARY POPPINS is everything you’d hope for in a Broadway musical—and more. Produced by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, the show includes such wonderful songs as Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Spoonful of Sugar, Let’s Go Fly a Kite and, of course, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The NY Daily News hails MARY POPPINS as “a roof-raising, toe-tapping, high-flying extravaganza!” Let your imagination take flight at this perfectly magical musical!

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A Jolly Holiday
by playgoer
Sunday, May 2, 2010
The touring company of "Mary Poppins" is in town for a couple of weeks and is delivering a delightful production to the audiences of Atlanta. The top-notch scenic design whisks us from place to place, with a black-and-white style reminiscent of the original Mary Poppins book illustrations, lightened and brightened by several forays into a phantasmagorical world of vibrant colors. The Banks house at number 17 Cherry Tree Lane is the centerpiece of the set, opening and closing and rotating as the action moves. The park also figures prominently, with wonderful work in bringing drab statuary to sparkling life for a jolly holiday. The rooftops of London, extending from the roof of the Banks residence, also make a memorable impression.

The story of the play is different in many details from the movie. Some differences work well; others don't. The decision to turn Mrs. Banks from a suffragette into a whiny former actress is particularly ill-chosen, especially since it saddles her with the drearily tuneless "Being Mrs. Banks" instead of the rousing "Sister Suffragette." On the other hand, the introduction of Miss Andrew, Mr. Banks' long-ago nanny, adds a lot of fun to the proceedings by inserting a villain into the action. Ellen Harvey's vocal performance as Miss Andrew is stunning, and her acting and stage presence make her role a steamroller ramming through the Banks household. Wonderful stuff.

No one turns in a poor performance. Gavin Lee, the originator of the role of Bert in London and on Broadway, gives as fun and professional a performance as one could wish for. He and Caroline Sheen, as Mary Poppins, both take full advantage of the wonders of levitation that defy gravity several times during the show. Once again, wonderful stuff.

The only aspect of the production I found lacking was the sound mix. Several performers, especially Mike O'Carroll as Admiral Boom and Kelsey Fowler as Jane Banks, were, I could tell, doing a fine job of projecting. The amplification of their voices, however, had a tendency to muddy their vocal patterns. I always find it a shame when good work by an actor is compromised by substandard technical support. The orchestra balance was fine, and the score sounded delightful, new songs and old.

Lots of children attended the performance I saw. I hope they realize how very fortunate they are to have experienced "Mary Poppins" as their first theatrical exposure. This is a sprightly, beautifully designed production that is unlikely to be equaled by the standard kiddie fare they will see in the future. A jolly holiday, indeed! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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