and the Disney film
Original Music & Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman
& Robert B. Sherman
Book by Julian Fellows
New songs, music & lyrics by George Stiles
and Anthony Drewe
Co-Created by Cameron Mackintosh
Directed by Richard Eyre
Music Direction by Annbritt Duchateau
Co-Directed & Choreographed by Matthew Bourne
Co-Choreographed by Stephan Mear
Produced by Broadway In Chicago
At the Cadillac Palace Theatre
She’s back with all her magical glow
The National Tour of Mary Poppins began in Chicago in March 2009 at the Palace Theatre playing 18 weeks to 300,000 people grossing over $18.5 million at the box office. There are six productions worldwide grossing over $605 million and playing to 8.5 million guests! All this happened due to meticulous stage craft, catchy well-know tunes and a superb dance and special effects. Yes, Mary Poppins proves that, indeed, there is still magic being produced on stage. Mary Poppins is the first “great musical” of the 21st Century. This returning production still has all the zest and high energy that I witnessed in March of 2009.
Co-produced by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, Mary Poppins is a fresh hybrid musical that co-creator/producer Mackintosh stated: “What I was searching for was a show that was both familiar and surprising, which would merge the best of the books and the film into something new.” Did he ever succeed! Chicago and the world loves Mary Poppins.
It has all the elements of a GREAT musical: excellent book based on P.L Travers’ children’s Mary Poppins books. Terrific catchy tunes—“Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Feed the Birds,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Anything Can Happen” with music in the style of early 20th Century British music halls, melodic marches and anthems; fantastic staging with vivid lighting on terrific sets; spectacular show-stopping dances and thrilling flying scenes that include Nicolas Dromard (as Bert) tap dancing upside down. This national touring production of Mary Poppins has two leads that instantly capture our hearts: the golden voiced charismatic Rachel Wallace as Mary Poppins and Nicolas Dromard as Bert.
Mary Poppins, the stage musical isn’t the film (which Pamelia Travers didn’t like) but it does use the outstanding songs by the Sherman brothers with additional songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe including the fine “Practically Perfect,” “Playing the Game” and “Anything Can Happen.” Seldom will you witness a more seamless and refreshing hybrid that keeps the best elements of the Travers book, the Disney film with thrilling dancers and funny scenes that become a fresh vibrant show.
The magic and mystic of Mary Poppins (is she myth or an angel from heaven?) is effectively played by Rachel Wallace while Nicolas Dromard’s Bert guides us through the journey of the Banks family’s awakening with panache. We are totally engrossed and richly rewarded having spent a few hours in Poppins’ world where anything can happen if you take a spoonful of sugar. Mary Poppins is the best musical never to have won a Tony Award.
The fabulous “Step in Time” show-stopping tap number will boggle your senses as will the manic “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Mary Poppins is a sweet, colorful and totally pleasant theatrical experience that kids and adults will be able to share as “great entertainment.” It only runs until November 6, 2011, so get your tickets now.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2011
At the Cadillac Palace Theatre 151 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL, Call 312-902-1400, www.broadwayinchicago.com, Tickets $25 – $90, Wednesdays at 2 & 7:30 pm; Thursdays at 7:30 pm; Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 2 & 8 pm; Sundays at 1 & 6:30 pm; limited Tuesday performances at 7:30 pm, running time is 2 hours, 45 minutes with intermission, through November 6, 2011
here is the Step In Time number from the Broadway production: