Mary Poppins photos courtesy of the NC Theatre. Photo credit: Curtis Brown.
I want all my Los Angeles friends to listen closely. On a Tuesday, I drove home from work. It took me 8 minutes. I played with my son. I ate some dinner. My friend Alaina met me at my house, and we drove to downtown Raleigh at 6pm. It took 25 minutes. We found a parking lot across the street of our destination. The parking lot only took cash, and we didn’t have any. The guy managing the lot let it slide and let us park. I know that sounds fantastical, it sounds magical. But that actually happened. It could happen to you to if you moved the heck out of LA!
So let’s talk about something that is magical. I belong to the NC Blogger Network, and every once in a while I get to participate in some really cool things that I get to let y’all know about. So when I was invited to attend the opening show of Mary Poppins at the NC Theatre, I was beyond excited. We were also invited to enjoy appetizers and drinks in the Backers Club beforehand (not a bad way to start the night). Bit of trivia about me: my absolute most favorite movie is Mary Poppins. I can quote the whole thing to you, sing all the songs word-for-word.
The theatre was filled with little boys and girls in their Sunday best. Some even were wearing Mary Poppins costumes. It was so darn cute! We couldn’t believe how well-behaved all the boys and girls were, which is a theme in North Carolina – in general, the kids really seem to mind their manners.
One thing that is crucial to know before going to see the Mary Poppins musical is that it’s a LOT different from the movie. Most of the songs from the movie are in the musical, but some of the lyrics are different and there are also additional songs. While my expectations of what would happen from moment to moment were different than what happened, the story line had a natural flow, giving the music an identity all its own.
Kara Lindsay (Mary Poppins) and Nicolas Dromard (Bert) brought all the charm and wit to their characters that made us fall in love with them in the first place. Micah Boan (Michael) and Riley Rose Campbell (Jane) were super adorable, and had great voices. However, the actress who absolutely stole the show was Lisa Brescia (Winifred Banks), who not only had an intoxicating voice, she showed a tender, maternal, lighter side of Mrs. Banks that brought a lot of dimension to her character.
I appreciated most that the musical version of Mary Poppins emphasized the importance of the marital relationship. George and Winifred Banks are depicted as two broken, multi-faceted people who had to learn to have each others’ backs. When they able to break down their walls and love each other unconditionally, the entire family benefitted. It was unexpected, and the nod to traditional family values was refreshing in an increasingly untraditional world.
Mary Poppins is playing at the NC Theatre in downtown Raleigh July 26th-31st, and tickets are still available, so take your kids and the whole family! Not able to make it this week? Starting in November, the NC Theatre will be showing more musicals throughout the 2016/2017 year, including Monty Python’s Spamalot, Always…Patsy Cline, Saturday Night Fever, Jesus Christ Superstar, Matilda the Musical and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.