Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is a wonderful and magical Broadway show that has made its stop at Gammage here in Tempe, Arizona. The show is a full Broadway show including special tricks, show-stopping musical performances and things that will have you leaving the show in awe.

Almost all of the songs in Mary Poppins should be familiar to those who have seen the motion picture that the musical is based on. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is one of the most well-known songs in the show. This part of the musical is fun to watch because while they are singing the song, they are spelling out the word and also spelling each letter with their bodies in some way. The fast pace song makes it fun to watch as each character spells the crazy long word that can mean, well, whatever you want it to.  Step In Time is also an incredible song that features the chimney sweeps in a fast paced, fun tap-dancing song. And also includes Bert tap-dancing across the proscenium arch. Yes, he dances upside down.

The touring cast has some familiar faces to the Mary Poppins production including Gavin Lee, the original Bert in both the London Cast and Broadway Cast. A few others, including Mary Poppins herself, Caroline Sheen, have performed on Broadway in the same show. The cast performed flawlessly on the Gammage stage and performed to the highest degree portraying their characters the way they should be played.

The set is quite an impressive piece. The house folds out, like a pop-out book. The house looks like a doll house; with stairs and all. And the set move on tracks, sliding into place. The scene changes are also done nicely, having Bert, one of the lead characters, sometimes pretending to be the one changing the scene. At one point a curtain is released, and Bert blows on it making it appear that he is the reason it is disappearing into the stage left wings.

The one flaw of this show would be the time length. It is a great family show but even I was beginning to drift in and out of watching it at one point. And that doesn’t mean much to the little boy falling asleep in the chair right next to me. If you have children, I strongly recommend not bringing them to a weekday show, but rather to a matinee show on the weekend. The show just feels like it is dragging along towards the middle, but it will certainly pick up and the best effects occurring at the end (I will not mention what these are because I do not want to risk ruining the surprise for anyone).

Mary Poppins goes until February 28, 2010 at Gammage. Don’t miss this wonderful musical that is great for all ages!

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