“Poppins” Charming, But Needs A Push
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The grand Peabody Opera House is home to the second visit of the hit musical “Mary Poppins.” It first appeared in St Louis in 2009 at The Fox. It opened on Broadway in November of 2006, and is still running.
The charming Rachel Wallace stars in the Nanny role made famous by Julie Andrews in the film version from 1964. As the high-flying caregiver with the uplifting umbrella and valise, Wallace epitomizes the sweetness of her character and has a delicate, carrying singing voice that make her performance ideal.
Case Dillard as the chimney-sweep Bert is entertaining and well-connected to the accent and challenging dancing of his role.
Dillard and the company of “Mary Poppins” execute a spectacular version of the favorite “Step In Time” number that sends Bert dancing on the ceiling and walls. It is a show-stopper. And yes, Mary Poppins does fly over the stage, but not over the audience at the end of the show like she did at The Fox. It’s a spectacular element to the finale of the production, but had to be dropped at The Peabody because of technical issues. Normally, it is part of the show in this touring company. On opening night, there was also a brief delay in a scene change that became a show-stopper in the wrong sense of the word.
“Mary Poppins” at The Peabody runs close to 3 hours with one intermission, which is a little long for a family musical of this genre. There is what is described in the program as new music, which is unfortunate because it doesn’t add anything of value to the production. The second act has motion and alacrity that is missing in the first act.
“Mary Poppins” will be on stage at The Peabody through Sunday May 13. The start of the performances is a little earlier than usual, so click on the link below to confirm the curtain time for the day you are going. Ticket prices range from $22 to $127 dollars.