A Night at the Theater: Mary Poppins

The cast of "Mary Poppins" perform one of their show-stopping musical numbers "Step in Time." (Photo property of Disney on Broadway)

The cast of “Mary Poppins” perform one of their show-stopping musical numbers “Step in Time.” (Photo property of Disney on Broadway)

By: Jacob Elyachar

Everyone’s favorite nanny has flown into Kansas City.

The 22nd longest-running show in Broadway history will enchant audiences of all ages for eight performances at the Music Hall.

If longtime fans of the 1964 film think that this interpretation of Mary Poppins is purely based on the classic Disney film, they would be slightly disappointed.

Despite the absence of Uncle Albert and the dancing penguins, this is a phenomenal production that perfectly blends the both the film and P.L. Travers’ children’s books.

One of the benefits of the blending was the increased role that George and Winifred Banks (Ben Cherry and Kerry Conte) played in the production.  While the patriarch is as stringent as ever, the audience learned why he got that way plus showed Winifred finally got a backbone and was able to be the lady of the house.

In addition to the strong book, there were several strong actors that stood in the ensemble.  Starting with both Madeline Trumble and Con O’Shea-Creal, who brilliantly tackled the legendary roles created by Dame Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

Trumble perfectly captured the aura of the titular role and had a strong set of pipes that she highlighted throughout the show.  Trumble’s strongest vocal moments came at “Practically Perfect,” “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Anything Can Happen.”   She made the Kennedy Center Honoree proud and the audience fell in love with her.

If there were an award for scene-stealer of the evening, it would go to Con O’Shea-Creal.   His portrayal of Bert was spot-on vocally and his ability to have chemistry with each cast mate that he interacted with throughout the production.   In addition, his dancing on the ceiling in “Step in Time” was one of the evening’s many highlights.

Other actors to keep an eye on include Kerry Conte (Winifred Banks), Emily Cramer (Mrs. Brill) and both Madison Ann Mullahey and Eli Tokash, who play Jane and Michael Banks on certain shows respectfully.

Audiences will enjoy several showstopping numbers that are sprinkled throughout the production.  Matthew Bourne and Geoffrey Garratt’s choreography breathed new life into classic songs “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Step in Time,” which received the loudest applause of the evening.

Final thoughts and grade: Between the acting, showstopping numbers and phenomenal music, Mary Poppins is a spectacular production that is a must see for Broadway lovers and Disney fans alike.   A

To learn more information about the musical, visit the show’s website: http://www.marypoppins.com/

 For more information about the Theater League of Kansas City, click here:  http://theaterleague.com/kansascity/

 

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar