For months, commercials for Broadway’s Mary Poppins have been running on a loop on the TVs in NYC cabs. They’re really annoying and feature audience members gushing about the show. “Even I, a jaded New Yorker, went, ‘How’d they do that?’” exclaims one woman over an irritating soundtrack clip. I immediately dismissed the play as Disney trying to make a buck by turning another great movie into a mediocre — at best — musical. I was wrong.
My parents and I saw the play on Saturday, and we loved it. I was surprised by the production value, special effects and general fun of the show. The cast is great, especially Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins, and the play’s additional plot points made the narrative more believable than in the movie: The relationship between the parents is fleshed out, and the play revises the movie’s weird bank-scandal story so it makes a lot more sense. Mary’s character is more interesting as well, and although I’ve never read the book, I suspect it’s more accurate to that character than the flawless Julie Andrews version. read more