Monday, August 13, 2012

'Mary Poppins' at the Ahmanson Is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Racing down to the Ahmanson on Friday to catch the opening night of Mary Poppins was its own thrill ride, as I wondered what CC might think of this magical musical.

She hadn't seen the movie, which was fine, but I'd heard that the live theatrical version was a bit darker than the Julie Andrews version we all know and love. What would she think? Was I going to traumatize my child after subjecting her to the undead the week before? Was I actually taking her to see "Scary Poppins?"

Turns out, all of my worries were for naught (whew!), and she had a fantastic time, even jumping up to give a standing O before I could get out of my seat. And scared? Not even brimstone and treacle could jar this kid.

CC at Mary Poppins
While the basic story of a mysterious and clever nanny appearing out of seemingly nowhere to take care of two over-privileged but sometimes under-appreciated children is pretty much the same -- complete with your favorite tunes! -- the Disney/Cameron Mackintosh musical version is more mature and certainly more complicated.

But that's not to say it's not fun!

Jane and Michael Banks (Cherish Myers and Zachary Mackiewicz), the children who have scared off their fair share of nannies from London's 17 Cherry Tree Lane, certainly seem naughtier. But once Mary Poppins (Rachel Wallace) arrives, she holds her own with appropriately theatrical flair  -- even to a grumpier-than-I-remember dad (Michael Dean Morgan).

It's this flair, though, that makes Mary Poppins a rousing crowd-pleaser from the get-go. Mary is sassy, independent, imaginative and loving -- and she knows how to show kids (and Bert, the chimney sweep, played by Nicolas Dromard) an incredible time. But this nanny is no pushover. She can open the eyes of downtrodden and jaded adults as well.

The music, dancing and sets are all fabulous -- I loved how the Banks house opens as if it's a dollhouse, a place of make-believe -- and there are other spectacular set pieces throughout the musical.

I don't want to give anything away -- including a fantastic potential rival to Mary (Q. Smith) -- but be prepared to be amazed, especially by the show's last bit of magic.

Mary Poppins
Aug. 9-Sept. 2, 2012
Ahmanson Theatre
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets: $20+

1 comments:

Mary Poppins said...

We have also LOVED the Moomin novels. They’re great!

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