BWW Review: MARY POPPINS JR. is 'Practically Perfect' at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati!

BWW Review: MARY POPPINS JR. is 'Practically Perfect' at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati!

BWW Review: MARY POPPINS JR. is 'Practically Perfect' at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati!

The wind changed on April 7th as Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins JR. flew into The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati at the Taft Theatre! The show is now running through April 16th! Mary Poppins is sure to be a sweet treat for both children and adults as The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati perfectly captures the classic story made famous by the 1964 film of the same name.

Mary Poppins tells the story of a family in London, the Banks, who is in desperate need of a nanny when a "practically perfect" woman shows up on their doorstep saying she had found an advertisement requesting nanny services. Mary Poppins, with a little help from her friend Bert, dramatically improves the family's relationship over the course of her stay with the Banks.

The audience is immediately transported across the pond on their entrance into the theatre as the stage is made to look like the tops of houses in London. Before the show, theatergoers receive a crash course in theatre etiquette from Producing Artistic Director, Roderick Justice.

The show opens with the beloved chimney sweep, Bert played by Eric Byrd. Byrd is making his return to the stage after a four-year hiatus, and one would never have known that he left. He plays off Bert's whimsical charm effortlessly, and leaves many audience members stunned with his famous number: "Step in Time". From the terrific tapping to flying "over the rooftops", it is well deserving of the uproarious applause.

Bert sets up the story on Cherry Tree Lane, where we meet the Banks. The Banks home is depicted onstage with an uncanny resemblance to a period dollhouse, which mimics the "doll-like" dynamic that the Banks family has at the beginning of the show. The children, Jane and Michael, are played by Payton Hines and Benny Mitchell respectively. Hines has the loveliest voice that shines in "The Perfect Nanny", their advertisement for a nanny. Mitchell's comedic timing plays well off of Hines. The two have terrific sibling chemistry, and it continues to strengthen once their nanny flies in.

The "practically perfect" Mary Poppins is brilliantly played by Kayla Burress. While the role always comes with large shoes to fill, she portrays her with class and ease. Burress' voice is like silk as she sings classics such as: "A Spoonful of Sugar", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", and more! She also has a lovely balance of the sternness and compassion that Mary possesses throughout the show. Burress has the magical, magnetic lovability about her that made her "the Mary that we love"!

Overall, The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati's Mary Poppins Jr. makes for a perfect evening or afternoon out to enjoy a timeless classic with your family!

Photos by Mikki Schaffner

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From This Author Anne Simendinger

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