Playhouse’s Poppins is Practically Perfect

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Review

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing a Preview Performance of Mary Poppins, the newest show to open at Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville, IN.  I was swept away to a magical place for a few hours and at the end I wanted to go back and see it all over again!  In a refreshing stage production, Derby Dinner brings Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “MARY POPPINS” The Broadway Musical to life!  With all of your favorite songs from the popular movie, you will be singing along!b2ap3_thumbnail_mary-poppins.png

One of the most popular Disney movies of all time is capturing hearts in a whole new way – as a musical!  Based on the books by P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, MARY POPPINS has delighted Broadway audiences and received nominations for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  MARY POPPINS is filled with timeless classics such as “Feed the Birds”, “Step in Time”, “Jolly Holiday”, and the Academy Award-winning “Chim-Chim Cher-ee”.

Based in England in 1910, this story takes you into the home of the troubled Banks family where young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep.  Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again.  Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures and even the grown-ups learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “anything can happen if you let it”.

Sara King as Mary Poppins literally floats onto the stage and takes charge.  She is commanding in her performance as Poppins while also creating beautiful music with her voice.  Her scene with Elizabeth Loos as the Bird Woman, where they sing “Feed the Birds” was beautiful.  She leads her two main co-stars, Caroline Siegrist as Jane and Braeden Criss as Michael, on a frolicking adventure.  Both young actors are utterly professional and right on cue with every line, beat and dance move thrown at them!  All while keeping an English accent that is so believe-able you really think you have been transported out of Indiana!   They make magic in the “Practically Perfect” and “Spoonful of Sugar” scenes where the set also comes to life.  Children will be amazed to see set pieces move all by themselves and larger than expected items to come out of Mary’s carpet bag!

The male leads in this show also do a great job of getting into your heart and making you believe in them!  Tyler Bliss as George Banks & Jordan Cyphert as Bert both seem to lead and learn as the story unfolds.  When joined by the colorful ensemble, the scenes make you want to clap along and dance in your seats.  "Step in Time" is a stomping, tapping, kicking good time on the rooftops while "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" rings colorfully from the candy shop!  I have never seen so many people on one stage move in perfect unison to a song that has so many movements and syllables!  It was so much fun to watch! 

This is certainly a show you want to take the entire family to.  My 7 year old did not take his eyes off the entire time and wanted to know if he could meet Mary Poppins when it was over.  He truly believed and wanted to go back again!  This enchanting musical is perfect for young and old.  It will bring families together and remind them of the importance of each other!  In the end, you will be inspired to go “Fly a Kite.”

It was also a special treat to see the Footnotes perform their pre-show performance to the songs from Disney’s Frozen!  Certainly it has become a mainstay in our house and you could almost hear the children in the audience singing along to Let It Go!  But, I think Mary Poppins will be another new favorite at our house from now on! 

MARY POPPINS is under the direction of Lee Buckholz with choreography by Heather Paige Folsom and musical direction by Scott Bradley.  The show runs through August 16, 2014.  For ticket information please call 812-288-8281 or visit www.derbydinner.com  Ask about Family night discounts on Friday and Sunday evenings. 

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