"Mom, I think the lady playing Mary Poppins was Fiona in
We'd just found our seats at the Marriott Theatre in
Lincolnshire and my 9- and 6-year-old daughters were already
leafing through the playbill.
"Look, that's the boy from Oliver!" squealed my youngest, who
wasn't reading the program so much as looking at the cast
I opened my program. They were right. We'd seen at least three
of the stars of Mary Poppins at shows in the last year and my kids
remembered them. It was a proud mom moment, realizing that exposing
my girls to the great musical theater that exists far-far-far off
Broadway in Chicago and its suburbs is actually making an
impression beyond that of the selections at the concession
Poppins may very well be the perfect family musical. It's about
kids, there's plenty of magic and whimsy and the story is
ultimately about the importance of family. It may be set in
Edwardian England but the struggles of stiff, hardworking banker
George Banks to find time, energy and suitable child care for his
mischievous children aren't far removed from those of today's busy
families. There were a couple of songs we didn't recognize from the
movie, but that's because a few tweaks were made when the story was
adapted for the stage. The most notable change is the arrival of
George Banks' witchy childhood nanny.
There's no violence, no sexual innuendo, nothing at all to make
a parent blush or answer awkward questions while in line for the
ladies room at intermission. Not that there's anything wrong with
that - I took a 5-year-old to Les Mis and suffered through her
imitation of the suggestive "Lovely Ladies" can-can dance.
The Marriott Theatre has a stage in the center of the room,
surrounded by gently banked seats on four sides. No matter what
tickets you buy, you'll be close to the action. The actors and sets
come in from all four aisles, but three out of four of us were so
transfixed by the performance we didn't notice the statue walk in
and take his place before "coming alive" with Mary Poppins'
Mary Poppins runs through Jan. 5. Tickets are $40 to $48, with a
$5 discount for students and seniors.
Alma Klein has been blogging since 2006. She works full-time as a creative director at a shopper marketing agency in Chicago and lives in the practically-perfect village of Oak Park with her husband Josh and elementary school-aged daughters.
See more of Alma's stories here.
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