April 6, 2010
Practically Perfect in Every Way
Just saw the wonderful Mary Poppins on Saturday night. If you do not want to hear any spoilers, skip the rest of the post, because I'm about to spill some beans!
Let's start backwards: I expected nothing could top Act I as it had most all the popular Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman tunes- Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Feed the Birds, and my favorite Jolly Holiday. I was wrong. Act II was even better!
Here come the spoilers...
When Gavin Lee as Burt begins his Step in Time dancing while hanging upside down from the ceiling of the theater, it stopped the show. The crowd burst into a thunderous roar. A very well deserved roar. The show may be named after our heroine, but Mr. Lee owned the stage every time he was on it. Charming, confident, and warm, his portrayal of our favorite chimney sweep did Dick Van Dyke proud.
As for the rest of the cast, Wales' Caroline Sheen had the night off from the lead, but no worries- Elizabeth Broadhurst's take on Mary Poppins was just right from every angle! Her voice shines and is as close a clone of Julie Andrews' as you could ask. Her mannerisms perfectly captured our beloved nanny, and the chemistry between the two leads was subtly rich and delightful.
As Mr. Banks, Laird Mackintosh had a thankless job but performed terrifically. Blythe Wilson as the Mrs. was every bit his match- and her voice in lovely form. Rounding out the cast, Rachel Izen played the short tempered but loveable Mrs. Brill, providing some great comic relief as needed.
The sets and special effects were stunning, including Mary's final departure high above the audience with umbrella in hand. It signaled the end of the evening, but I hope I get to see more of Gavin Lee and Elizabeth Broadhurst. They are stars in the making!