Review: "Mary Poppins"

October 1, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The most magical thing about "Mary Poppins"--the Disney musical that is in the midst of the Indy stop on its national tour--isn't the "Jolly Holiday" stroll through the park or the iconic slide up the banister. It isn't the flight of the famed nanny and it isn't the way Bert dances up the side of the stage and across the top.

The most magical thing is the fact that the producers of this mega-musical have allowed its actors to actually act.

That's not saying the "Mary Poppins" is "A Streetcar Named Desire." The roles here don't demand heavy lifting. But there's an unfortunate tendency in some tours to expect their casts to slavishly recreate their predecessors in the roles. (If you saw last season's "A Chorus Line," you witnessed an extreme case of that problem.) I, for one, would much rather see actors rather than reenactors.

And so Mr. and Mrs. Banks come to life. So does Poppins--who the creators wisely allow to remain cryptic.

And while Bert can't quite fill the shoes of Dick Van Dyke--who could?--he's his own man. Best of all, the two Banks children are outstanding, tireless, and charming in near-constantly-onstage parts.

Does that make "Mary Poppins" a great musical? Not really. There's a tendency to replace some of the movie's joy-for-joy's-sake fun with messages and morals. The toys-coming-to-life sequence falls completely flat and "Step in Time" doesn't quite explode the way it should. Still, it triumphs over such recent Broadway in Indianapolis efforts to reach the same market, including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and "101 Dalmatians."

It's easy to credit the sets and the songs and the source material. I'm crediting the cast.

Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Merry Poppins
    I saw this production earlier in its tour run - with the original Broadway leads. The most over-the-top touring production I've seen in 30 years of Bway and tours... - different from the Broadway set, etc.. - but perhaps better for it. Though the show may not be the greatest, the production (and leads) were fantastic.

    Shame that Indy became the first tour city to have its run cut short - when the schedule 3 week stand was reduced to 2 weeks due (presumably) to slower-than-expected ticket sales. This show has been moderately successful on the road (but not the Lion King like sellout Disney likely envisioned) - and is probably extremely costly to run in salaries and production costs. Even in the best tour cities (St. Louis, Cleveland, Denver), the show has struggled to get anywhere near the ticket sales that a show like Wicked does on its 2nd or 3rd visit to a city...
  • Thoughts...
    I saw this on tour last year in Cincinnati, and really enjoyed it. I again enjoyed it, but perhaps not so much, here in Indy last week. The changes don't really bother me (from the movie), as they were made to tie to the original novels. I kind of enjoy the darker moments as an added new layer.

    What I do find troublesome, and it's not just this show, is that I find the sound quality on the tours in Indy pretty rough. Consistently, both at Clowes and the Murat, no matter where I've been seated, the orchestration completely overpowers the singers often during shows. I think that some thought needs to be given to the fact that the text might be important for the audience to hear. It's like it's a rock concert, with no vocals.

    However, I did enjoy the show, and I agree that the actors did some good work taking some characters that could have been 2-dimensional and fleshing them out.
  • Cancelled?
    Does anyone know why so many Mary Poppins shows have been cancelled?

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT