Mary Poppins, a whimsical Disney classic, is showing at the Orpheum and it is a show you do not want to miss. Liberties are taken throughout the production, but a fantastic cast, amazing set design and interesting choreography makes up for the blemishes. Broadway Mary Poppins gives an energetic and modern spin to the original movie. The beginning of Mary Poppins filled me with the organic feel I got as a child when I watched the movie but as the play unfolded my feelings began to alter.
An additional story line is added, parts of the movie were chopped up rearranged and altered to, in my mind, a distasteful sense. George Banks and Winifred Banks background story emphasized and revolved around a women’s place in the house. Feminist would find this almost offensive but I was surprised when I found audience members appreciating the fact that there was a background story to the parents. Not only are the parents story altered but a new nanny is added. One of George Bank’s childhood nannies comes back to haunt the children like she haunts George bank’s memory. The nanny is spooky along with an added scene. Instead of small toys coming alive in Jane and Michael’s room the audience is bombarded with life size toys, and fog. Not only do the toys give an extreme shock factor but a nightmarish addition to what is an elegant and enticing story. Elegance was not lost in the three alterations.
Elegance was found in the lovely songs, amazing set, and fun characters. Jane and Michael Banks played by Alexa Shae Niziak and Eli Tokash were nothing less than stunning. No matter how choppy the scenes ended up being, Jane and Michael made each scene believable. Bert, played by Con O’Shea-Creal, was lively in every scene and movement made. The dancing is incredible, every second looks like a picture perfect moment.
Depending on the night you attend Mary Poppins there will be different people playing different roles. The Cast and ensemble is enormous. It is obvious from the playbill and audience that much time, effort and money was put into Mary Poppins. The Banks’ home comes out from the back wall, and unfold like a doll house, rooms move on and off stage and little magical tricks happen here and there treating the audience.
Mary Poppins is a family friendly play showing at the Orpheum theatre and if you have the chance to bring your child or any aged individual with you, this is your opportunity. Familiar with the movie or not Mary Poppins will introduce you to great theatre, talent and a story that should be shared for everyone. Mary Poppins was my spoonful of sugar, hopefully it can be yours.