By Brad Haynes

With the success of the Disney animated films Beauty and The Beast and The Lion King making imaginative transitions to the Broadway stage, it was only inevitable that the good folks at Disney would bring the same magic to one of their live action features. Mary Poppins, which began life in London in 2004 and made its move to Broadway two years later, was the perfect vehicle.

Fans of the original 1964 movie will be thrilled to know that the show retains many of their favorite tunes written by the legendary Sherman brothers, Richard and Robert. “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Jolly Holiday,” “Feed the Birds,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “Step in Time” are all there. And to round out the show as a full-fledged musical, additional songs have been added by songwriting team George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The new songs are all “Practically Perfect” as well.

Fans of the hit PBS show Downton Abbey may feel a sense of recognition during the show. The show’s book was written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

The cast is uniformly strong, with Con O’Shea-Creal’s turn as Bert the chimney sweep a true standout. If you thought the main magical theatrical moment in the show would be Mary’s heavenly ascent via umbrella, wait until you catch Bert’s jaw-dropping and gravity defying dance solo during “Step In Time.” It is truly amazing.

If you’ve ever opened an umbrella and secretly thought that you might be able to fly, then Mary Poppins is for you, no matter your age.

Interested in getting up close and personal with the Mary Poppins folks? You will be able to meet cast members from the touring Broadway cast on January 10th from 5-6pm at the Orlando Repertory Theatre. Cast members will answer questions, tell stories about life on the road, take pictures and sign autographs at this free event. The Orlando Repertory Theatre is located at 1001 E Princeton Street, Orlando, 32803. For more information about this free event, please call 407-704-6122.

Mary Poppins is playing at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre through January 13th.

Tickets for Mary Poppins start at $41.00. Tickets can be purchased at the FAIRWINDS Broadway Across America – Orlando Box Office, Amway Arena Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Online purchases can be made at www.OrlandoBroadway.comTo charge-by-phone call 1-800-982-2787. Group orders for 10 or more may be placed by calling (407) 704-6116.


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