This year, instead of giving each other presents for Christmas, my husband and I decided to do a date night seeing the ArtsClub Theatre‘s production of Mary Poppins at the Stanley Theatre.
We loved it. Although I was familiar with some of the songs, I had never seen the movie before, only bits and pieces. So now all the songs had context—there were many “ah ha” moments for me.
Given that this was the Broadway Musical and it came with a steep price ($90 each), I had high expectations for it. It did not disappoint. [spoilers ahead]
Mary Poppins had three flying scenes, including one over the crowd which was pretty awesome. Bert, the Chimney Sweep, did an impressive sequence in a harness where he walked sideways, and then upside down (while singing a line), around the stage during “Step in Time.”
The sets were fabulous—different painted backdrops that lifted up and down for the park, Cherry Tree Lane, the bank, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The main set was the inside of the Banks’s house on Cherry Tree Lane, with the children’s room upstairs and the entryway and parlour below. Lots of doors, stairs, entrances and exits. To the left side of the stage was a chimney which Bert popped in and out of regularly to sing the “Chim Chim Cher-ee” rooftop refrain. Mary Poppins magically pulled out a hatstand, mirror, plant, and other large items from her carpetbag, reminding me of Hermonie’s magic purse in Harry Potter.
There’s something really fun about watching a big cast do elaborate song and dance sequences. My favourites were the chimney sweeps all tap dancing in “Step in Time” and the fast spelling of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
The acting was fabulous too. Mary Poppins and Bert had great chemistry. I had no idea Mary Poppins was so haughty though. I mean, Practically Perfect? The two kids who played Michael and Jane did an impressive job with their lines. Sometimes their singing lines were harder to hear but overall they projected well. I think the most laugh out loud moment for me was when the butler sang “the medicine go dooooooown” in the kitchen with a dramatic full-bodied gesture that came out of nowhere. And then when Mary Poppins responds to Mr. Banks with “I don’t give explanations” and then tap dances a line from “Step in Time” for emphasis. I heard a little kid squeal with glee at that part too. It was fun seeing people of all ages enjoying the show.
We had such a fun date night and loved celebrating Christmas with this experience instead! Would definitely recommend it. Also, if you’re wanting to catch dinner in the area before the show, we found this list helpful in getting a deal!
Cute! We did Handel’s Messiah sing along (half the price of a concert), and way more fun even if we did not know how to sing, because it’s an event which has attracted people over and over, some already 25 years since the beginning. It was fun listening, but even more fun being surrounded by singers.