Mary Poppins was a childhood favorite of mine. The nanny with the parrot-umbrella who could fly and pull out just about anything from here purse, did indeed help the “medicine go down” for me as a child.
That is why during my stay in New York, I decided to buy two tickets to watch the Disney Broadway show rendition of this classic 17 Cherry Tree Lane story. The result was being mind-blown beyond expression, and I can very safely say it was worth every single penny.
So, on Saturday, Yara and myself made our way to the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway Street and settled into the beautifully designed amphitheater. Ornate sculptures and bas-reliefs decorate the balconies and box seats, and murals made the dome-shaped ceiling all the more grand. We sat in the orchestra area, only a handful of rows away from the stage.
Before I talk about the acting, actors and actresses, allow me to declare that the set, effects and props were absolutely astonishing. The illusion of Mary Poppins’ bottomless bag was created live, with the bag, seemingly placed on a table whose underbelly was visible, transparent and empty, concealing a lamp, a bed, and other objects which could not possibly fit in there.
The sets were also beautifully designed, with the houses, stories, parks and scenery being fully movable, sprouting up from under the stage, or disappearing into the ceiling, all automatically and with seamless, technologically-sexy automated transitions.
The dances were also impressive, with some ballet, tap-dancing, river-dancing and some contemporary choreographic pieces keeping things interesting and novel. The songs included favorites like “a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down”, “chim, chimeney, chim chim, charoo” and “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, all of which made my eyes swell with fond memories.
Novel songs included some breath-taking opera-like segments, clap-inducing jazzy tunes and good old-fashioned musicals with the British twist of Marry Poppins and chimneysweepers. The actors and actresses were magnificent as well, with humor, cuteness, wickedness, spunkiness and other realistically portrayed traits coming to life on the stage in vivid costumes and light effects.
The play was not without impressive aerobics and stunts either, with some wall-walking, umbrella-flying and kite-taming that will make you instantly clap in amusement. To top it all off, the cast members came down at the end of the fantastic show, and held buckets for donations, with freebies like aprons, umbrellas, cookbooks and autographs given away for every donation that will go into cancer and AIDS research. Oh, and the next day, I received a delightful personalized email from Disney Broadway thanking me for showing up and being part of the magic. How awesome is that?
So, in New York? Visiting? A Broadway show is an absolute MUST. I’d definitely recommend Mary Poppins, however, friends of mine who have seen other shows recommend them highly too. So, choose the most appealing one for you, and go, cross it off your bucket list!