By Carly Beckman, Contributor
Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical” is pure magic. I’ve loved the movie since I was five, and the stage production exceeded even my highest expectations.
From the quirky choreography to the eye-popping set changes, you’ll be wonderstruck with this charming musical. The special effects and seamless set changes were something only Disney could pull off. They leave you wondering how they did it. There were gasps of astonishment from the audience, myself included. I haven’t seen such incredible lighting and sets since I saw “Wicked” in 2007.
Caroline Sheen played Mary Poppins practically perfectly in every way. Her pitch-perfect voice and cheeky characterization were spot on. Nicolas Dromard as Bert wowed the crowd with his superb tap dancing skills and charm. The only problem I found in his portrayal was that his British accent wavered throughout the show. The two children playing Michael and Jane held their own with great timing and strong singing voices. George Banks (Michael Dean Morgan) still likes his order and precision but he learns to fly a kite. Winifred Banks (Blythe Wilson) just wants acceptance from Mr. Banks. Mary Poppins flies in to save the family with her magic.
The stage version includes the classic songs we all know and love by Richard and Robert Sherman such as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Feed the Birds” and “A Spoonful of Sugar,” but also adds a few new musical numbers by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe that added depth to the characters and story lines.
While there are more serious parts, it is definitely a family affair. The choreography in “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” will make you feel like a kid again and want to join in. The second act brings the show-stopping number “Step in Time.” The beginning of the number was slowed down and made the anticipation for those tap dancing chimney sweeps even more exciting.
These dance numbers would be nothing without the talented ensemble members that filled the stage with energy and strong chorus dynamics.
Q. Smith, an Omaha native, pops out of the ensemble to play a few supporting roles. The most notable is Mr. Banks’ terrifying former Nanny, Miss Andrew, with a raging soprano-belting voice that gave me chills in the second act.
Overall, “Mary Poppins” is a feel-good musical that everyone will walk away from with a huge smile on his or her face. It will make you feel like a kid again and leave you humming and dancing all the way out of the theatre. It deserved the standing ovation it got at the end. “Mary Poppins” runs through Feb. 13 at the Orpheum Theatre.