Between Julian Fellowes' classic book and Walt Disney's popular film of the same title, Mary Poppins has made its way into countless households around the world. Most people are familiar with the story but for those who are not, it is a story about a nanny; a very special nanny who represents hope for all that is good in the world to succeed. Throw in a magical travel bag and endless optimism and you have a heartwarming tale of a journey to discovering the true value of what it means to be a family.
Mary Poppins is a visual spectacle to rival The Lion King. The sets are beautifully crafted and some of the illusions drew audible gasps from the audience. The show boasts an array of amusing new songs like Cherry Tree Lane and Practically Perfect, that slide in seamlessly along side of classics like Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Spoon Full Of Sugar, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Next to the directing, the huge kudos should go to Tara Rubin Casting for the incredible cast who deliver jaw dropping performances scene after scene, song after song, and do it all with seemingly effortless, precision timing. They are mesmerizing to say the least, and so individually talented it feels like you've stumbled into the theatrical equivalent to Woodstock (1969).
Rachel Wallace, who takes on the epic role of Mary Poppins, brings to the character a perfect blend of intelligence and likeability. Her voice is precision and her stage presence captivating. What's especially wonderful about her is her unique ability to create that inviting space for her fellow actors flourish. And it's a delicate business when you have a character who is supposed to be overly confident and likeable at the same time. She does so with grace, never once losing her hold on her audience.
For the opening performance, understudy Con O'Shea-Creal stepped into the role of Bert, the chimney sweep. He was every bit the leading man, giving a stellar performance and proving he was more than worthy of the role.
The set design is spectacular, the music superb, and the costumes intricate and beautiful. There is so much to like about this show that it's best to simply recommend that you see it while you can.
Mary Poppins is a must see for the whole family and runs until July 22nd. Click for tickets and times.