Tuesday, September 28

Broadway Across America: Mary Poppins

Magical, mysterious and Practically Perfect in every way, Mary Poppins arrives to 17 Cherry Tree Lane
Caroline Sheen as Mary Poppins
by umbrella through October 3 at The Murat Theater, 502 N. New Jersey Street. Somehow managing to be vain and adorable simultaneously, this ever-popular nanny is portrayed practically perfectly by Caroline Sheen.

Sheen depicts the narcissistic nanny, with a tough-love approach to dysfunctional families, flawlessly. Whether teaching life-lessons, dispensing a Spoonful of Medicine, or joining a group of chimney sweeps as they Step in Time, the Banks brood receives an ample dose of love from the prim and proper governess.

Charming, chimney-soot-smudged Bert is played by Nicolas Dromard. Dromard gains the spectators’ affection from the start and has them waiting for one more sideways glance or irresistible dimpled-smile. He keeps the audience with him throughout the journey and knows, instinctively, that they will follow him even to the rooftops.

Nicolas Dromard performs Step in Time in Mary Poppins
Laird Mackintosh provides a stern-due-to-his-upbringing father in George Banks, unable to see his own inflexibility, cold attitude and need to be one of the “best people,” are creating numerous problems for his family. The financial expert eventually finds his compassionate side through the help of the all-knowing Poppins.

Katie Whitehouse, Fishers, attends Mary Poppins.
The pop-up storybook house magically opens and welcomes you into its movable rooms and levels, including nursery, living room, kitchen and rooftop. A park changes from gray and dreary to energetic and vibrant awash with hues of violet, orange and turquoise with a stroke of Bert’s brush and a bit of Poppins’ magic. Statues spring to life and a parade of kites fill the perfect blue sky as the Banks children learn to care for something besides their own wants.

Unfortunately, this column is not long enough to mention every single member of the cast as they so richly deserve. The bigger-than-life characters are so real it’s difficult to remember they are being portrayed by actors. When the theater fades away, when reality ceases, when fantasy and tale become real, you know you are watching a magical moment.

Bottom Line: A story dear to the hearts of one generation has officially been handed down to a whole new generation of children, bewitched by Broadway Across America’s Mary Poppins.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer and theater critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and at gottago.us.
Photo Credits:
Mark A. Lee, greatexposures.net
Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, West Side Community News, New Palestine Reporter, West Indianapolis Community News, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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