“Mary Poppins” Soars as a Vintage Muny Production

Harry Hamm

harry star 4andahalfstars Mary Poppins Soars as a Vintage Muny Production

As Mary Poppins flew off over the audience last night at show’s end, flashbulbs popped, shutters clicked, people stood, heads turned and innocent amazement was the rule of the moment. Over 10,000 people were enthralled. We were all kids again. It was a place in time that could only belong to The Muny. I wanted to cheer, so I did.

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Jenny Powers as Mary Poppins is a sweetly stern young lady. Powers plays her with a lot of quiet strength and confidence. She sings like a lark. You’ll believe she really can fly long before her big exit.

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Aidan Gemme and Elizabeth Teeter as Michael and Jane Banks are experienced in this show, and the youngsters don’t miss a beat. They are charming and very accomplished. Their chemistry with Powers is enjoyably engaging and really helps pull the show through its long running time.

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Rob McClure as Bert is very likeable. He has a warmth as a performer that easily comes across the footlights. His crush on Mary, which eventually leads to a kiss, is delightful. McClure adeptly leads two big dance numbers, “Step In Time” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidociuous,” and they are both showstoppers, the latter lending a touch of actual alphabet magic that really spells it out for you.

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The supporting cast is wonderful. Zoe Vonder Haar, James Anthony, Rebecca Finnegan and Laura Ackerman do yeoman work.

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“Mary Poppins” is a story that is deceptively timely. Mr. and Mrs. Banks, played by Stephen Buntrock and Erin Dilly, worry about money and unemployment. But in the end, self-actualization, family values and a strong personal belief system bring everything full circle.

Careful. You might end up cheering too.

http://www.muny.org/

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