Last Sunday Brandon and I went and saw Mary Poppins, the Musical! I had high expectations after seeing The Lion King musical a couple of years ago and Mary Poppins definitely met my expectations. It was phenomenal!
First of all, the set was incredible! They had a house that moved forward and backward, and turned in circles. Each side of the house opened up to showcase a different room. It opened first to the family room of 17 Cherry Tree Lane, home of the Banks family. (Funny, I just realized their last name is Banks and the father worked at a bank.) The house also opened to the children’s bedroom and the kitchen. Another scene was set in the park. It was dull, dark, and dreary until Mary Poppins showed up and turned it into a technicolor wonderland! The chimney sweep set was pretty plain. At one point, however, Bert walks up one wall, tap dances upside down, and dances down the other wall. That was pretty spectacular.
The music was wonderful was well. I am a huge fan of the Sherman brothers. They wrote many of the songs for Disney movies (including Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, and The Aristocats), as well as some of the songs for rides at Walt Disney World (some of my favorites include: “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” from the Carousel of Progress, “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room” from the Enchanted Tiki Room, and of course “It’s a Small World”). Anywho, the music from the movie is great and the musical kept the great tunes. I’ve heard that Walt Disney himself would have the boys (Robert and Richard Sherman) come to his office and play “Feed the Birds,” to him because it was one of his favorites.”Feed the Birds” is a sweet song that reminds us to take care of those who need help. It was sung beautifully Sunday – it even brought a little tear to my eye. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was also great! George Stiles and Anthony Drewe did a great job in adding to the already very memorable song. The cast did a fun little dance to the song and in the end included the audience in singing and spelling it out.
There were definitely some changes that I wasn’t expecting and some things that were left out that I missed. But before I mention those changes it should be known that I haven’t read the book so the changes I am speaking of are derivations from the movie. First, there are no penguins! I was a little sad about that at first but instead of penguins, they have statues that come to life. They dance and sign with Bert in “Jolly Holiday.” In another change from the movie, Mrs. Banks was not involved in the Women’s Rights campaign as she was in the movie. Instead, Mr. Banks basically tells her to find a hobby or make new friends. The musical had no carousel horses, which were another one of my favorite things from the movie. Bert had a musical cart he pushed around instead of his bodysuit of musical instruments in the movie and they left out meeting uncle Albert and floating at the table while singing “I Love to Laugh.”
Quick fun fact: One of our extremely talented friends from college, Tyler Foy, was part of the national tour up until February. I was bummed that he wasn’t in our show but so proud of him and his huge success!
Towards the end, Mary Poppins mentioned that leaving is bittersweet which immediately hit home with me. I’ll be leaving my job of 3 years at the end of June and while we’ll be moving closer to our family. Leaving my students will be so incredibly hard. I will miss them more than I could ever tell them.
Overall, the musical was fantastic, brilliantly adapted from the movie (even though it was missing a few of my favorite scenes), and full of beautiful costumes, dancing, and music. I left wanting to see it again. If you haven’t seen it and it’s coming to your town soon, I definitely suggest you go see it! It’s worth it!
”Anything can happen if you let it. Life is out there waiting, so go and get it.” -Mary Poppins