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Review – Mary Poppins

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We all the know the beloved children’s tale of Mary Poppins. Magical lady comes to the aid of struggling family and teaches them all sorts of wonderful lessons, such as in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. And if you have to take medicine, a spoonful of sugar will help it go down. Well, the lady herself came sweeping into the Benedum Tuesday evening to a packed house of young and old alike. Brought to Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh CLO (the inaugural show of their 2015 Summer Season), Mary Poppins had something to delight everyone. Just a few highlights:

*Director and choreographer Linda Goodrich. The show went off with nary a problem and plenty of fun. The pacing was brisk, the impressive sets were changed with ease. Even the little dog Willoughby (played with to die for cuteness by Taco) that would occasionally make an appearance was well-behaved and always hit his mark. The cast of 26 moved and sang and danced through the two hour show with confidence.

*Lindsey Bliven as Mary Poppins. Possessing of a nightingale voice and infusing the prim and proper mannerisms of her character with just a bit of mischievousness that made her Mary Poppins a ton of fun. She not only sang all the songs that you remember (A Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Let’s Go Fly A Kite), but she did so with plenty of showmanship and spectacular vocal fireworks. I especially liked when she shared moments with scene stealing David Elder, who played everyone favorite chimney sweep, Bert. He was fantastic, energetic, and the perfect foil for the very tidy Ms. Poppins and her very tidy employers, the Banks.

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*The sets. A shout out must be given to Andrew David Ostrowski (lighting design), Timothy R. Mackabee (scenic design), and John R. Edkins (production technical supervisor). One minute, you were outside a pretty little house sitting on a quiet little corner. The next, you were in a well-decorated, very orderly entryway and office. All of a sudden, you’re in a kitchen with dishes falling and clattering as quickly as they’re righted and neat. One minute you’re standing inside the park, and the next, you’re in a wonderland where stone statues talk and lions dance. Impressive? To say the least.

All in all, Mary Poppins is a fun, lighthearted way to spend a warm summer evening. Congratulations to cast and crew for such wonderful performances and dedication.

Tickets available here.
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