Mary Poppins musical a triumphBRIDGET JONES
It might be some sort of childhood blasphemy, but I really do not like Julie Andrews. I didn't see The Sound of Music until I was forced to, one long weekend when I was 21, she annoyed me in Princess Diaries (1 and 2) and Mary Poppins was a sickly, syrupy snore.
I could be mistaken, but I blame my mum for this politically incorrect (in the playground at least) stance. I'm sure I remember her banning me from watching all of her movies, although the reasoning escapes me now (mum, am I wrong? I would hate to tarnish your good name).
So when I was asked to go to Perth to watch the second-to-last Australian performance of the whistles-and-bangs stage show of Mary Poppins a few weeks ago - without wanting to sound ungrateful - I was underwhelmed.
Perth is far, and the thought of hearing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in all its glory, complete with precocious child actors, didn't wow me.
Now, those who know and love me will be the first to tell you I am a stubborn old thing who almost never admits when I am wrong. So believe me, what I am about to say is hard-earnt.
Mary Poppins is brilliant.
I'm not sure what they have done to it, but it comes across as an adult production that kids will love, or maybe it's a kids' production adults will love. Either way, there is a real story, a real family and real, modern problems that takes it out of the realm of "kids' movie" and means you can't help but actually like it.
The actors - most of whom will be travelling here in October when the show takes over the Civic - were superb, the sets were incredible (think Royal New Zealand Ballet Sleeping Beauty standard) and the songs didn't make me want to scream.
Dare I say it, I even found myself tapping along to the very, very clever, sign-language-inspired, ferociously fast Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
I was also lucky enough to meet up with the cast while I was there (there will be a heap of interviews coming soon) and even after performing the show around 700 times, they all still really, really love it. And I think that matters.
Tickets went on sale for M.Popp's Auckland shows yesterday, and they will sell, no matter what I say or do. But hear me when I say this is a really lovely show. Poppins flies, songs are sung, and thank goodness Julie Andrews has to watch it from the cheap seats just like everyone else.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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