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HOW do you solve a problem like Mary Poppins (spoilers)

deena
Swing
joined:5/29/06
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5/29/06
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially since so many of you have already bought tickets for this charmless musical. But, i went all the way to london just to see this and was utterly disappointed. There is no "magic" in this show and it is directed and choreographed so amateurishly. PLEASE don't go in with any type of expectations from the movie or you will be crushed. From her 1st appearance ( and not even flown in) this show just drags on and is a bore. The context of the songs from the movie take on an entierly different meaning in this stage adaptation. Not only is the show darker, it's just not any fun. Mary becomes part of an ensemble of players and was played woodenly by Kellys replacement. I kept thinking that perhaps the American cast can help the show, but methinks not. It's the way the piece has been directed and miserbly choreogrpahed that accounts for most of the problems. I imagine they're bringing the same team over, and thats a big mistake ! And the import of Gavin Lee baffles me. He's nothing but a 2nd rate chorus boy who landed a larger part. I can only imagine someone like Noah Racey in the role as he has much more ability , talent and charm. The STEP IN TIME number is a mish mosh of a tap dance, and Lees tapping around the proscenium ( suspended by two very big wires) is nothing too spectatcular. What is it with all the flying in these British shows? The one place they needed it was for THIS show and they barely employ it. With Bob Crowley (Tarzan) as designer its amazing they didnt even attempt to fly away the nannies (then again, this scene is omitted from this production). I won't gone on much more ( but i sure could) as i know most of you are excited as i was to see this. How could Disney get THIS one soooo wrong?
neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
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12/23/05
Very inacurate review of the show in my opinion. It sounds like two seperate shows we saw.
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daleydiddle
Swing
joined:10/8/05
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10/8/05
I recently went to see Mary Poppins, and was a bit sceptical because i heard mixed reviews about the show from numerous sources in the buisness. i knew i was'nt going to see a film version on stage because previously seen a documentary on the development of the production from P.L.Travers series of books to the stage. i think popular films and books which are revived and produced for stage is what people expect to see and pay for. (Hence the early closure of LESTAT on broadway) furthermore

To be honest i was at first expecting more and i agree mary's entrance was a bit bland and didn't grab my attention and got very bored for the first 15 minutes but gradually it did get better with new takes on the musical numbers and the original books.

Overall with Disney i expected more looking forward to seeing Tarzan though saw the preview clip on this site it looks spectaular hope to catch it september.
GO A-WAY! ME BUUUUSSSSYYYY
neddyfrank2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/23/05
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joined:
12/23/05
Very inacurate review of the show in my opinion. It sounds like two seperate shows we saw.
lifeisacabaret
Leading Actor
joined:4/17/06
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4/17/06
Clearly the originator of this thread wanted a sugar-coated version of the movie. This is not what the show is, nor were the original books sugar-coated either. Don't go into the show expecting a carbon-copy of the movie and you'll be fine- its dark in places, yes, but it has heart, beautiful sets and costumes, a fabulous cast and brilliant direction and choreography.

Its sad to think that it'll probably be lightened up for american audiences (the kind of audiences who lap up fluffy rubbish like 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'- which bombed here), the show will lose all its current charm and intrigue and just become yet another 'disney' musical, which currently 'Mary Poppins' (joyously) isnt.
Updated On: 5/30/06 at 02:32 AM
Sant
Broadway Legend
joined:9/12/04
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9/12/04
I actually enjoyed the fact that it was darker than the movie! If you want light, fun and don't-bother-me-with-a-cleverer-plot then go to see MAMMA MIA!

I didn't like the way they had extended the original songs from the movie, especially "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and "Step in time" and I was bitterly disappointed hearing the movie's best song "Feed the birds" being totally ruined by turning it into a duet.

Visually the show is stunning. Costumes, wigs, sets - all are extremely good.

Mary's entrance wasn't what I expected, as I expected her to fly in and maybe exactly that is why it came as a surprise to me. As for flying itself, a lot of recent or current American shows have flying effects too: WICKED (though not pulled off by wires), DRACULA, THE LION KING (the air ballet), AIDA (the swimming pool), SPAMALOT (even though Monty Python is a British group)

Imho, MARY POPPINS is not the best show in London at the moment, but it's not the worst either. And I think it's worth seeing.

Updated On: 5/31/06 at 04:13 PM
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BroadwayBaby6
Broadway Legend
joined:10/25/04
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10/25/04
The Broadway production is making lots of changes to the London production. It will become a much sweeter, "sunnier" production.
"It does what a musical is supposed to do; it takes you to another world. And it gives you a little tune to carry in your head. Something to take you away from the dreary horrors of the real world. A little something for when you're feeling blue. You know?"
Johnny Can't Decide
Swing
joined:6/7/06
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I saw it last November and was actually very fond of the darker changes they made from the movie. "Fire and Brimstone" (at least I think that's what the song was called) was great.

The show as a whole I thought retained much of the same magic that existed on screen, if not more in some parts (the street sweeper sequence, for example, which was really well done).

I also disagree with the statement that the show had miserable choreography. I thought the statues in the park dance was rather incredible. "Temper" wasn't half-bad either, except the night I went (Nov. 3, I think), they stopped the show for about 5-10 minutes in the middle of the song because they couldn't get the trapdoor that the two children were about to step on completely shut.
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ruthiefan_felix
Broadway Legend
joined:10/6/03
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10/6/03
I think it's the cast. I heard alot of negative reviews of the supporting casts present. THe original cast as a whole was very gd!
And I thikn the book was defo quite boring, but more dark than the movie which I loved.
To me, highlights of the show:

'Super..cious' - GREAT GREAT choreography - its impopssible that you dont like the choreography of Matthew Bourne AND Stephen Mear!
'Temper Temper' - thrilling!
When Mary comes down from 'Let's Go Fly A Kite'
'Brimestone & Treachle: Reprise' - Rosie Ashe and LMK - WOW again!
'Step In Time'
'Being Mrs. Banks' - cuz I just LOVE Linzi :P
At the end when Mary flies over the audiences - WOW!
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Bret
Broadway Star
joined:6/13/03
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How does Mary enter?
"Wherever you go... I'll be right there. When you get your own private kick in the ass, just remember: it's a present from me to you." Rose's dying words to Louise
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Elmokid
Understudy
joined:10/30/05
Understudy
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she comes up through a trap door in the centre of the stage behind the banks but the stage tries to make it look like she flew in.

Johnnytoc
Broadway Star
joined:12/19/04
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I agree with neddyfrank that overall, I personally disagree with your review. I enjoyed the show and found Gavin Lee to be wonderful. Again, my opinion vs your opinion
Johnnytoc
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joined:12/19/04
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I agree with neddyfrank that overall, I personally disagree with your review. I enjoyed the show and found Gavin Lee to be wonderful. Again, my opinion vs your opinion and
Johnnytoc
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I agree with neddyfrank that overall, I personally disagree with your review. I enjoyed the show and found Gavin Lee to be wonderful. Again, my opinion vs your opinion and nothing more.
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StageGuy99
Understudy
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for those of you that said you were waiting for Tarzan to see if Disney does that any better... don't get to excited. Saw it last week and was less than impressed. Least fav of the disney shows by far!
"The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but it is also the return of art to life." -Oscar Wilde
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dramaparoxysm23
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I agree with most of the replies to this. I found the darker version to be refreshing after all the frivolous Disney shows (though I do enjoy them!) done before.
Mary's entrance was, I think, supposed to imply that she just "appeared"...she didn't neccessarily fly in. As for the lack of flight, I think it was wise to save it for the finale, because after that...what have you got? That's the big scene, Mary flying off in the end.
"Temper, Temper" was FANTASTIC! It gave me chills - mostly because as a child I feared things like that! Haha.
Though I was not overly impressed by Scarlett Strallen, Gavin Lee is a very talented performer and a nice guy as well. (I love Stage Doors!)
As for the "lack of magic", I felt like a kid again sitting in the audience watching the kitchen put itself back together, even if I did see a stage hand pass brooms to Mary as she went out the back door, and even if I heard Gavin's tap shoes after he'd exited into he was in the wings. Suspend your disbelief! Everything can be magical!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I remember days
Or at least I try
But as years go by
They're sort of haze
And the bluest ink
Isn't really sky
And at times I think
I would gladly die
For a day of sky

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
And Starbucks will use the words 'large' and 'small', not pretentious crap like grande and tall.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
"You could get away with anything if you call it art and tell people who don't like it that it's cutting edge culture." --vmlinnie
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vmlinnie
Broadway Legend
joined:6/19/06
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I think that Mary Poppins is great. The Orchestrations are so clever and powerful, and what can I say about the set? Its just so amazing. I'd love to live in that house. Sure, its missing a side and the roof flies off but its fab.

On the overall disney side, I love Lion King and Mary P, Quite like Beauty and the Beast (I like the scene where he turns back into a human, the pyrotechnics are so cool there). Ive never seen Tarzan and Im not sure if there was a Hunchback Musical, Ive just heard about it now. My two favourite places are Theatreland and Disneyworld Florida, so these musicals are just made for me (yet not one of them is my favourite show, weird).
The rain we knew is a thing of the past -
deep-delving, dark, deliberate you would say
browsing on spire and bogland; but today
our sky-blue slates are steaming in the sun,
our yachts tinkling and dancing in the bay
like racehorses. We contemplate at last
shining windows, a future forbidden to no one.


Derek Mahon

"Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."

Arthur Miller
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Practically Perfect
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As my name would imply, I loved this show, and think it is definitely the best of the Disney shows. The darker story is true to the original books, and makes the story more pleasing for people who aren't purely looking for a bit of froth. The new songs are wonderful - great melody lines, and very clever, witty lyrics. The original cast was fantastic, and having seen Scarlett once, can say that she plays a very different, but equally impressive and endearing Mary Poppins. Can't wait to see Gavin Creel in London, and Ashley Brown on Broadway!

Mary P x