Chim Chim Cheree! Everyone’s favourite nanny stops by Vancouver this week, no not Supernanny but Mary Poppins. Broadway Across Canada‘s touring production of Disney’s Mary Poppins opened tonight and plays until Sunday July 22nd at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Adapted from the family favourite 1964 Disney movie, Mary Poppins features the same familiar score by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, including “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Step In Time” plus new numbers, written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, specifically for the stage musical.
The movie and musical are based on the like-titled series of children’s books by P.L. Travers which tell the story of the Banks family who needs a new nanny for their children, Jane and Michael. When a mysterious young woman named Mary Poppins appears at their doorstep, the family finds that she’s the answer to their problems, but in ways they’ve never imagined.
The touring show stars Rachel Wallace as Mary Poppins, Case Dillard as Bert, played on opening night by understudy Con O’Shea-Creal, Michael Dean Morgan as Mr. Banks and Elizabeth Broadhurst as Mrs. Banks. The real star of the show is the set, it was an amazingly creative way to show the whole Banks house, from basement to rooftops, opening up like a storybook to reveal the interior. The nearby park was a magical place that allowed the cast and audience to be swept away in the classic songs and story. For some numbers the large company filled the stage creating a much grander scale than the Queen E stage would appear to allow.
The entire company was very good vocally and the sound was well done, no opening night glitches except for some missed light cues. The addition of the new songs and changes to the story, kept the musical running smooth and flowing while simplifying some of the heavy special effect numbers from the movie. The changes also make the story new and keep it fresh for everyone, overall it’s a fun, nostalgic trip to Victorian London and our childhood memories of the original Super-calafragalisticexpialadoshus Nanny.
Mary Poppins runs until July 22nd at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, visit Broadway Across Canada for tickets.