BWW Review: Magical and Marvelous-MARY POPPINS at Paper Mill Playhouse through 6/25
"Troubles are never so bad when you look at them from high up."
by Bert in Mary Poppins
The Paper Mill Playhouse production of Mary Poppins is marvelous. Whether you've seen it before, or it's your first time, you'll be wowed. Directed by the theatre's Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee, choreographed by Denis Jones, and with musical direction by Meg Zervoulis, the show delivers an experience that will affirm your love for musical theatre. It will be performed on the Millburn stage through Sunday, June 25th.
Mary Poppins is based on the stories of P.L Travers and the Walt Disney film. It features original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, a book by Julian Fellowes with new songs and additional and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. It was co-created by Cameron Mackintosh.
In Mary Poppins, the Banks family lives are in a state of disarray. Michael and Jane are spirited and difficult children who have caused their nanny to quit. Their father, George Banks is a tense individual whose job at the bank is threatened. Winifred Banks, a patient wife and mother, is trying in vain to keep order at home. Enter Mary Poppins, a nanny with extraordinary magical talents that create positive outcomes. With the help of her dear friend Bert, Mary Poppins may be able to improve the Banks family's situation. The show is full of heart and hope, a joyous piece of theatre with essential lessons for everyone.
The cast of Mary Poppins is a dream team. Elena Shaddow is dazzling as Mary Poppins. One of her songs with the children is "Practically Perfect." Shaddow is absolutely perfect as everyone's favorite nanny. Mark Evans masters the part of Bert, the jack-of-all-trades and a subtle charmer. Adam Monley as George Banks and Jill Pace as Winifred Banks are ideal in their roles. We enjoyed the talents of John Michael Pitera as Michael Banks and Abbie Grace Levi as Jane Banks. Maddox Padgett plays Michael Banks with Madi Shaer as Jane Banks at some performances. You'll be incredibly amused by Liz McCartney as Miss Andrew; Blakely Slaybaugh as Robertson Ay; Dierdre Friel as Mrs. Brill; Danielle K. Thomas as Mrs. Corry and Bill Nolte as the Admiral.
Rounding out the cast is the multi-talented ensemble: Tim Capodice, Peyton Crim, Mary Beth Donahoe, Adena Ershow, Mark Evans, Will Geoghegan, Curtis Holland, Joshua Israel, Madison Johnson, Hannah Jewel Kohn, Robin Lounsbury, BrIan Martin, Andrew Metzgar, Corinne Munsch, Natasha Natraj, Caylie Rose Newsom, Sean Quinn, Drew Redington, Jack Sippel, Bronwyn Tarboton, Clay Thomson, and John T. Wolf.
The score of Mary Poppins is laced with exciting favorites and Denis Jones' stunning choreographies are wonderfully performed. Get ready for outstanding renditions of "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Chim Chim Cher-ee," "Let's Go Fly a Kite," "Step in Time," and many more.
The Creative Team has done an wonderful job of bringing Mary Poppins to life on the Paper Mill Playhouse stage with set design by Timothy R. Mackabee; scenic coordination by Libby Statstad; costume design by Leon Dobkowski; lighting design by Charlie Morrison; sound design by Randy Hansen; hair wig and make-up design by Leah J. Loukas. The Production Stage Manager is Frank Lombardi. Casting is by Telsey + Company, Rebecca Scholl, CSA.
Mary Poppins will capture your imagination like never before. Paper Mill Playhouse is topping off their highly successful season with an elaborate production of the timeless classic that celebrates humanity and family.
Mary Poppins is on a limited engagement through Sunday June 25. Paper Mill Playhouse is located at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ. The show will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are now on sale starting at $30. They may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343 at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office or by visiting www.paperMill.org. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Box Office on the day of the performance.
Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia