BWW Review: MARY POPPINS flies into The Public Theater Of San Antonio
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" The world's favorite nanny, MARY POPPINS, flies in with her signature umbrella to The Public Theater of San Antonio. With the release of Mary Poppins Returns just last year starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, a whole new generation has been introduced to the magical nanny and they are ready to see her brought to life onstage!
As the curtain opened, all is not well for the Banks Family on 17 Cherry Tree Lane. Patriarch George has lost sight of what is most important while his wife, Winfred, struggles to discover her greatest role. The children, Jane and Michael are more spoiled and mischievous than ever, driving out nanny after nanny. Enter Mary Poppins, a kind and no-nonsense nanny who is "practically perfect in every way." Mary has a thing or two to teach the Banks family, and all it takes is some help from the artistic chimney sweep, Bert, and a few spoonfuls of sugar.
As the title character, Hadley Rouse was sensational. She held nothing back and simply was the magical nanny in a way both anticipated and all her own. Her costumes, designed by Elisa Bierschenk, were also spot on! Chaz Ingraham played the easy-going chimney sweep with an air of practiced perfection. His voice was flawless and his dancing incredible. Another stand-out performer was the Bird Lady played with a fragile sincerity by Megan Hicks DeYoung. Her rendition of "Feed the birds" was the most moving piece of the show, bringing a sort of longing and beauty in the middle of the fast-paced excitement. The cast in its entirety was engaging and wonderful in their roles, letting this story be as relevant today as it was at its creation nearly one hundred years ago.
The set and special effects were particularly impressive and picturesque. The smoke, the lights, the beautiful backdrops of 1920's London, and of course all of the magic made the show so splendidly grand. Choreographed by Courtnie Mercer and co-produced by the Ballet of San Antonio, it was the ensemble numbers that were the true showstoppers. The second act's "Step in Time" was a favorite as the entire cast came out in tap shoes to dance and sing their hearts out. "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was another memorable moment in a truly delightful show.
Photo Credit: Siggi Ragnar