It’s ….supercalifragilisticexpiadlidocious! This word sums up the Broadway touring smash hit, Mary Poppins, playing at the PPAC in Rhode Island now through February 19, 2012. Be prepared as the magical nanny flies into the PPAC in the extraordinary tale bringing the original movie, Mary Poppins, to life right before your very eyes.
Walt Disney films and the original stories by P.L. Travers brings Mary Poppins to stage in Rhode Island for a limited two week engagement. If you are familiar with the Mary Poppins movie, you will notice some variable changes to the original score but this only adds flavor to the Broadway hit. Mary Poppins, the Broadway musical, is more adapted to the stories by P.L. Travers and includes scores that were not seen in the original movie. In my opinion, this makes the show even greater. More musical numbers set to life- what more can you ask for! The musical follows the story of the magical Mary Poppins who is hired to nanny the Banks children, Jane and Michael. Mary Poppins comes to teach the misbehaved children through rather unconventional measures. Her main motto is to make your dreams come true and let things happen if you dream/believe it.
Rachel Wallace (Mary Poppins) was terrific in her singing and acting of all the true Mary Poppins classics. I felt like she truly shined in the second act with her near perfect rendition of A Spoonful of Sugar and Anything Can Happen. Michael Dean Morgan (Mr. Banks) played the perfect role of the strict but turned apathetic father of the Banks children, Michael (Zach Timson) and Jane (Marissa Ackerman). When I first heard Mr. Banks talk and sing, I instantly recognized him from the voice of Zazu in the Broadway show, The Lion King. He also played the neurotic flying fish, Marlin, in Disney’s Finding Nemo on Broadway. Case Dillard (Bert) shined in the musical with his renditions of Chim Chim Cher-ee. Elizabeth Broadhurt (Mrs. Banks) played the role of the sweet and good natured mother of Michael and Jane. One of my favorite secondary characters in this show was Q. Smith (Bird Woman/Miss Andrew) who made the audience crack up in hysterics and who really could belt phenomenal Broadway tunes.
All the songs including the favorites, Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Spoonful of Sugar, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, were superb but by far my favorite was Step in Time which was done in the middle of the second act. The incredible tap number really gave the audience the thrill of a lifetime. Never before in my history of seeing Broadway shows (I have seen upwards of 40 shows) have I seen such a true production number. Everyone was perfectly coordinated and the tapping was extraordinary.
One of the greatest aspects of Mary Poppins is the sets. The dynamic sets truly made the show. I have read recently that Mary Poppins is the only touring Broadway show in the history of Broadway touring theatre that brings all their sets from their New York City onstage every night in cities all over the country. Usually when shows tour across the country, they bring modified setting with them. However, in Mary Poppins, you will get the true Broadway experience, as ALL of the sets are directly made up from the Broadway stage sets. The sets and the transitions are so well executed and you are simply stunned by the breathtaking sets. All the sets involve vivid coloring and simply amazing costumes. If you are with a child, they will be blown away by the set design. Hayley kept whispering to me that the colors were so pretty. I couldn’t agree more. Mary Poppins stage/setting/costumes are really like no other Broadway show before. It is also amazing to see Mary flying through the sky on several occasions. The way they showed it onstage truly looked as if she was flying high in the sky. Breathtaking!
I give this show a A in overall ratings. If you want to be lifted to a happy, magical place, look no further than Mary Poppins. If you have kids, it truly is a must see! For ticket information, please check out the PPAC or by calling 401-421-ARTS. It is playing to February 19 so hurry up and get tickets. Also remember that Wednesday February 15 is Amica family night where theatergoers under the age of 18 will be able to receive a free ticket of equal value with the purchase of a full priced ticket for the 7pm show.
*Thank you to the PPAC for providing me tickets in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.