"Mary Poppins," the touring Broadway show, is "practically perfect in every way."
Salt Lake City's Capitol Theatre has been transformed into 17 Cherry Tree Lane and the Banks family has been put on display for our entertainment. But, while a spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down, do not mistake this adaptation for the syrupy-sweet version on your DVD shelf.
I went to the Broadway touring show of "Mary Poppins" on opening night, Sept.1, but the musical runs most of this month. All of the seats in the theater are good, but the balcony and the seats closer to the stage give you a better view of some of the special effects. The balcony obstructs the view of the higher parts of the stage from the seats in the back of the theater.
All of the sets and the props in the show were beautiful. The backdrops were like a pop-up storybook and could turn back and forth like pages. They also had the added bonus of working doors, stairs and lights. The bank was probably the least impressive scene, but possibly because it was meant to feel oppressive.
Some of the Disney magic came out in the special effects. One of my favorite parts of the performance was when Mary Poppins (Steffanie Leigh) pulled furniture out of her bag and decorated her room. The crowd also loved it anytime Mary Poppins would glide across the stage with her umbrella. Bert's (Nicolas Dromard) number, "Step in Time," was also full of magic like walking up walls and dancing on rooftops. There are also smaller special effects sprinkled throughout the show.
All of the actors had ideal voices and were great dancers. I actually wish there was more dancing in the first half of the show since it seemed like the majority of the dancing was saved until later in the production. All of the costumes looked like those worn in the 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews and worked perfectly. The music was provided live by the Mary Poppins Orchestra.
I do have to warn you that this production is not going to be exactly the same as the film. It does not follow the story line of the movie (it is more like the original book by P.L. Travers) and has a few different songs. There is a scene where Michael and Jane's toys come alive to sing "Playing the Game" and scold the children for treating them poorly. I thought this scene was slightly disturbing. I later found out that it was modified from its original version which was even scarier. Because of this, and a few darker scenes, I wouldn't recommend this musical for young children. Some venues even restrict it to ages 5 and up.
One hour before the show begins, some of the characters will be outside the theater signing autographs. There is also a boutique inside the lobby with Disney theatrical merchandise and T-shirts. The Capitol Theatre is short on bathrooms and convenient/free parking so plan ahead.
In short, put your expectations aside and allow yourself to enjoy a jolly holiday with Mary.
"Mary Poppins" plays Tuesday through Sunday through Sept. 25 at the Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City. Tickets can be purchased at Art Tix and are $23.50-$135.
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Rachel Badali is a junior in Electronic High School. You can contact her at email@example.com.