ELMSFORD, N.Y. -- The enchanting “Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical” has arrived in Westchester. For those, who may be only familiar with the classic Walt Disney 1964 film, this rendition offers new songs, and a “tweeking” of the original that offers something for all ages to enjoy.
With grip in one hand and parasol in the other, Lauren Blackman, touches down at the residence of George Banks to answer a classified advertisement, for a nanny. While the specifications set forth by young Jane and Michael may not be the same as their father's nanny, the stern disciplinarian George acquiesces to his children's wishes and engages Mary's services.
Mary's warmth and love works their way not only on the children, but to the parents and household staff as well.
While it may be difficult to assume a role that brought Julie Andrews an Academy Award, Ms. Blackman brings a freshness and effervescence to the character.
We were quite taken by the chemistry of Blackman and Leo Ash Evens, who plays Bert, the chimney sweep. From his vantage point, Bert can look down upon the streets and by-ways of Edwardian London and observe the everyday lives of its residents.
The comic relief, Miss Andrew (Jan Neuberger), George Bank's authoritative nanny from long ago, made her presence known to the delight of the audience.
The audience was treated to such unforgettable songs such as, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and "A Spoonful of Sugar."
New tunes, such as Bert's touching and heartfelt solo "A Man has Dreams," were incorporated in this version which made its Broadway debut in 2006.
We can't say enough about the precision-like choreography that accompanied such tunes as the memorable "Step in Time." Kudos must be given to choreography directors Richard Stafford and Jonathan Stahl.
The sets and costume designs were magnificent. We especiallyenjoyed the carousel and its colorful array of characters.
The recently departed Broadway musical "Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark" was plagued with special effect mishaps and injuries. But, Mary, and other cast members, had no trouble flying about effortlessly. We had the best seat in the house as we watched in awe.
One may dismiss “'Mary Poppins” as a show for children. But, this version shows us the vulnerabilities of George and Winifred Banks (played flawlessly by Joseph Dellger and Leisha Mather), as they question their worth and what, if anything, they have accomplished in their lives. Their beloved nanny helps to open their eyes to their inner selves and their personal, social and occupational accomplishments.
The show is one for all ages to embrace and cherish. I heartily recommend it.
Mary Poppins is currently on stage until July 27. To order tickets, call the WBT at (914)-592-2222 or visit them at www.BroadwayTheatre.com
William Reynolds resides in Ossining.
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