Entertainment » Theatre

Mary Poppins

by Jack Gardner
Contributor
Thursday Jan 3, 2013
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Madeline Trumble as Mary and Con O’Shea-Creal as Bert
Madeline Trumble as Mary and Con O’Shea-Creal as Bert  (Source:Jeremy Daniel)

The Adrienne Arsht Center is currently hosting the Broadway Across America tour of "Mary Poppins" in the Ziff Ballet Opera House.

This tour is the Broadway Musical adaptation of the classic 1964 Disney film. The show tells the story of the "practically perfect in every way" nanny who comes in to the home of two unruly children, Jane and Michael Banks, and improves their lives and relationship with their parents.

While it is true to the spirit of the film, the musical version has new songs written specifically for the stage as well as adapted and re-arranged versions of the songs from the movie. Purists who love the original film will be dismayed to find that the lyrics of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Jolly Holiday" and "Step In Time" are no longer the lyrics that have been sung for the past 48 years, but the sparkle and magic of the show will delight theater goers of all ages.

Con O’Shea-Creal gave a spectacular performance as Bert, stunningly handsome, with a pleasant voice, a first-class dancer and comic.

Madeine Trumble gives a stunning performance as the title character. Her pure soprano voice is lovely and she is, to quote the show, "practically perfect in every way." Elizabeth Broadhurst gave a charming performance as Mrs. Banks. Her slightly weightier soprano contrasted nicely with Trumble’s voice and the new number, "Being Mrs. Banks" was an excellent showcase for her lovely singing.

Con O’Shea-Creal gave a spectacular performance as Bert. O’Shea-Creal is stunningly handsome, has a pleasant voice and is a first class dancer and comic. His performance at times nearly overshadowed that of the other cast members. The role of Mr. Banks was played by understudy Ben Cherry in the performance I saw and he was excellent as the misguided yet loving father.

This production features a large number of special effects including the flying of several cast members as well as a dance routine performed upside down at the top of the proscenium. Fantastic lighting, colorful scenery and lovely late Victorian Era costumes add to the beauty of this tour.

With a running time of 2 hours and 35 minutes, "Mary Poppins" may be a little long for some members of the audience, but whether you are 9 or 90, this tour is sure to delight and entertain you.

"Mary Poppins" runs through Jan. 6 in the Ziff Opera Ballet House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. For info or tickets call 305-949-6722 or visit http://www.arshtcenter.org.

Jack Gardner has been producing theater in Dallas and Fort Lauderdale for the past 8 years. He has performed in operas, musicals and dramatic works as well as doing voice-over and radio work. Jack lives in South Florida with his three dogs.

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