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Practically Perfect

…that’s my review for the Mary Poppins show that is currently playing at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.

Mostly everyone has watched, or at least heard of the musical film of Mary Poppins produced by Disney in 1964.  Some may not know that the movie was based off a book series with the same title written by P. L. Travers. The Broadway musical, produced by Cameron Mackintosh, is a festive fusion of the original movie and the book series.

Steffanie Leigh as Mary POppins

Mary Poppins is a super hyped about show. In the press packet I got right before the show, there were (I counted) 16 reviews from a variety of famous newspapers along with information packets galore.  Needless to say, I was excited about the show and had extremely high expectations going into the theater.  Thankfully, the show satisfied.

The musical is a very happy-go-lucky production where, just like in true Disney fashion, at the end of the show everyone is happy and all the good guys win.  But that’s not to say it’s a failing point of the show, in fact, it’s a quirk that makes the show even more enjoyable.  And the musical is very very enjoyable.  Not only are all the actors and actresses professional and fantastic at what they do, the mood the show sets up makes it so even if Ebenezer Scrooge (before his transformation) went to watch it, he’d have a skip in his step by the end of it.

This broadway production received the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design, and it shows.  Everything feels, not only very magical, but vary grandiose.  The house on Cherry Tree Lane folds open like a gigantic picture book, providing a mystic showing for the play.  The other settings are equally magical, with bright colors and beautiful lights.  The stage is absolutely marvelous and the actors move about it with such a grace that can only be expected from broadway professionals.  They’re all very high energy, wanting to entertain the audience and perform a fantastic show.  The two children in the play are way beyond their years in skill and are an absolute joy to watch.  And of course the lead actress who plays Mary Poppins, Steffanie Leigh, does a spectacular job in her role as the leader of the play.  The thespians of the musical are all very skillful and deserve their roles in Mary Poppins.

Nicholas Dromard as Bert

The special effects are marvelous, smokes and lights trick the audience not allowing them to figure out how the magic works.  The special effects gives a theatrical appeal to the show that I haven’t seen in any of the other productions at Sacramento.  And the costume designers deserve some praise as well.  The attire of the characters help make the magical world of Mary Poppins literally jump out at the audience!

The audience on opening night was amazingly engaging.  There were more children at this show than any of the previous productions I’ve seen at the Sacramento Community Center and the energy from the crowd could be felt.  People clapped, laughed, and cheered after every number and the standing ovation at the end was thunderous!  I interviewed Chris and her daughter, Caroline, about what they thought about the production and they had this to say

Chris: “It’s great!  I watched the original movie and they added a couple of scenes, but it’s still the same great experience.  I’m originally from back East and I’ve seen a lot of shows, so you’d think I have a really high expectation for Mary Poppins, but it’s very good.”

Caroline adds: “I enjoyed it =)”

Some good words.  What about from a college student?  I asked Yesenia from UC Davis about her thoughts and she said “I really enjoyed the play. The production married the cheeriness of the Disney version of Mary Poppins with the weirdness of the original Mary Poppins book. This made for one delicious play. I have been to a few Broadway productions here in Sacramento, and this is by far one of the most entertaining.”

The public has spoken!  If you get the chance, definitely go and watch this show.  Whether you’ve read the book or watched the movie or haven’t done either, it’s worth a going!

The show will be in the Sacramento Community Theater at 1301 L Street, Sacramento from now until the 19th.

The schedule is as followed:

June 7th: 8PM

June 8th: 8PM

June 9th: 2PM & 8PM

June 10th: 8PM

June 11th: 2PM & 8PM

June 12h: 2PM

June 14th: 8PM

June 15th: 8PM

June 16th: 2PM & 8PM

June 17th: 8PM

June 18th: 2PM & 8PM

June 19th: 2PM

Tickets can be found here: http://www.tickets.com/browse.cgi?pgid=2017409

More information can be found here: http://www.californiamusicaltheatre.com/index.cfm?page=438633

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