Broadway San Jose’s musical, “Mary Poppins” was nothing short of a brilliantly stupendous smash hit on opening night, May 29, with handsome and extremely talented Bert played by Case Dillard, and the magical, mysterious and extremely talented Mary Poppins played by Rachel Wallace pulling off the rendition’s first performance of the season’s 2011-2012 final musical for what has always been one of America’s favorite musicals.
Broadway San Jose, producers Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical Productions and Cameron Mackintosh really outdid themselves this time with this musical wonder. Mary Poppins, along with the Banks’ children, Michael played by Zach Timson on opening night (alternating with Zachary Mackiewicz); and Jane played by Cherish Myers opening night (alternating with Marissa Ackerman), who were very talented youth doing an amazing job not only playing the challenging children-turned-sweet, but who also have powerful voices – enough to stand out on their own.
A strong, almost through-the-roof voice by cast member, Tonya Thompson who played Queen Victoria, playing a character that stood out as much as Bert and Mary. And let’s not forget the humor of the Banks household, from the hired help to the parents, George Banks played by Michael Dean Morgan and his wife, Winifred, played by Elizabeth Broadhurst, who were nothing short of talent igniting even more talent as they performed, with what one can only hope will be messages taken home by parents in the audience come closing of curtain.
Everything one would expect from a “Mary Poppins” musical, complete with Mary’s magical tricks pulled out of her magical bag to her whimsical charming ways of telling only what is needed – without explanation; to the leaps and dances along rooftops to the flying to and fro; the new songs adding sheer delight to an already supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and “catchy” kind of musical.
The acting by all cast members was simply superb, including the park keeper played by James Patterson and Miss Andrew played by Q. Smith, who also played the role of the bird woman.
There were no stone-cold statuesque grimaced faces in the park scenery with Neleus played by Benn Atkins and his mortar friends who did an amazing job, with an inspiring and delightful surprise for Neleus in the final act – just another reason why costumes (by Christine Rowland, Jimm Halliday and Travis Chinick) must be given credit as they were simply stupendous.
It was nice to see the mix of old-fashioned dance mixed with the rendering of new song and dance mingled with smiles and endless audience delight – with the adding of even more talent for what indeed turned out to be a spectacular season finale to Broadway San Jose’s 2011-2012 season. I was impressed with everything from song and dance to scenery with its grandeur and color; unable to pick out anything amiss if I tried – even with that one silly strand of lights that was out in the magic purple umbrella, something I’m certain went completely unnoticed by everyone else but this silly white-light girl, making this magical season finale of “Mary Poppins” nothing short of a perfect and spectacular musical performance and must-see by every Bay Area family.
My only hope is that at least a spoonful of “Mary Poppins” and more to the point, a spoonful of sugar, will be cast upon each and every person in the audience, for everyone knows the world could certainly use a little bit more sweetness. Not knowing a better way to tell folks, there’s no need to talk during performances, shove elbows to and fro while seated or while trying to make way through (everyone gets in and out, with patience). And, the best part, there are plenty more performances over the next two weeks so please, pass the sugar or simply forward along this Review, and tell your friends.
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“Mary Poppins” is the 2011-2012 season finale, running through June 10, 2012. San Jose Center for the Performing Arts is located at 255 Almaden Blvd. in San Jose. Tickets start at $25 and are available at the San Jose Box Office (SJTIX) by calling 408-792-4111. Groups of 10 or more may call 408-792-4131 or visit www.broadwaysanjose.com. Stay tuned to P.K.’s Bay Area Events Examiner for a list of Broadway San Jose’s spectacular 2012-2013 season musical productions.
“Mary Poppins” will be on stage Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.; and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. For more information please visit www.MaryPoppins.com or www.BroadwaySanJose.com.
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