Review: Anything Can Happen When MARY POPPINS Takes The Stage!

Relive the magic of the iconic 1964 Disney film with Royal City Musical Theatre!

By: May. 03, 2024
Review: Anything Can Happen When MARY POPPINS Takes The Stage!
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There is nothing like a good musical to hit all of your theatre cravings. Some of the best stem from the classic stories, filled with magic, music, and dance. One that captivates in this category, filled with anticipation and many spectacles is MARY POPPINS: The Musical based on the children’s books by P.L. Travers and inspired by the 1964 Disney motion picture. Presented by Royal City Musical Theatre, MARY POPPINS brought the timeless tale to life in New Westminster’s Massey Theatre this week for their opening night. Bringing audiences into the world of imagination, MARY POPPINS kept the carefree whimsy and wonder of childhood alive. 

The success of the Disney musical fantasy comedy starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke was the start of bringing P.L. Traver’s books to life on the stage. The story centres around the Banks family in Edwardian London. When visited by the mysterious and magical nanny, Mary Poppins, the family’s 2 children, Jane and Michael, learn about the power of imagination and to cherish the joy in their lives. Mary Poppins reinforces the importance of adventure with the children with the help of jack-of-all-trades Bert and many others that they meet along the way. Along with the dazzling dance numbers and memorable songs is a musical that shows the importance of family and living in the moment. 

Review: Anything Can Happen When MARY POPPINS Takes The Stage!

Photo: RCMT Mary Poppins. Charlie Emma Lynn, Roan Osenton-Boutin, and Meghan Gardiner. Credit: Moonrider Productions.

The charm of this show stemmed from the music. The timeless melodies and whimsical lyrics set the groundwork for a story that layered youthful energy and imagination into an unforgettable piece of work. The original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman combined with new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthomy Drewe, were the glue that held the entire production together. Notable and recognizable songs including, “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Step in time,” and the favorite, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” kept the energy of the musical up, while songs such as, “Cherry Tree Lane,” and “Anything Can Happen,” gave the show a sense of unity. 

The captivating sets designed by Brian Ball, with props by Stephanie Barclay were detailed and fitting. The ever-changing sets brought a sense of excitement to the show as it was hard to predict how the scenes would change from one to the next. A crowd favorite moment made possible by Barclay included the “bottomless bag” moment from Mary Poppins that had all the children in the audience in utter disbelief. Another memorable aspect of the show were the costumes designed and coordinated by Alex Campagnaro. Campagnaro included aspects of the looks from the original film while also adding a fun and bright touch to the overall theme.

Review: Anything Can Happen When MARY POPPINS Takes The Stage!

Photo: RCMT Mary Poppins. Full cast in Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Credit: Moonrider Productions. 

Director and choreographer, Valerie Easton, did a great job of playing into the highs and lows of the show. Especially with the choreography of the large dance numbers, her attention to the moments that were meant to stand out made all the difference in the overall energy of the performance. Meghan Gardiner was in the leading role of Mary Poppins with Darren Burkett as Bert alongside her. Gardiner played the role perfectly with her vocals and chemistry with the other actors. Gardiner led the children with poise and engaged with Burkett as Bert with banter that was believable and sweet to see. The songs of the show allowed Gardiner to showcase her strong vocals and her dancing skills within the large group numbers. Burkett opened the show being the first character the audience met at the start of the show. The wonder in his eyes and pure joy on his face when singing and dancing was a sight to see. Burkett made the stage his own, putting forth a memorable performance that definitely stood out from the rest. 

Review: Anything Can Happen When MARY POPPINS Takes The Stage!

Photo: RCMT Mary Poppins. Song Chim Chim Cheree. Credit: Moonrider Productions.

MARY POPPINS isn’t a new, innovative show that aims to push any boundaries. The show rather sticks to the classic elements of a Broadway musical and pays homage to the roots of musical theatre. The large cast, composed of both veteran and newer actors to the theatre scene, offers the opportunity for everyone to step into the spotlight. MARY POPPINS is a show that allows adults to connect with our youth and promotes the inquisitive nature of the younger generation. In the words of Mary Poppins, “there’s the whole world at your feet. And who gets to see it but the birds, the stars, and the chimney sweeps.” 

MARY POPPINS: The Broadway Musical presented by Royal City Musical Theatre will play until May 12th, 2024 at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster, BC. To learn more about the show and purchase tickets, click the link below! 

Top Photo: RCMT Mary Poppins. Darren Burkett as Bert and Meghan Gardiner as Mary Poppins. Credit: Moonrider Productions


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