Mary Poppins runs through Jan. 5 at The Marriott Theatre, 10
Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. There will be a special
family-friendly holiday schedule Dec. 26-Jan. 5.
Quite appropriately, the rain was falling as I made my way into
The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire for 'Mary Poppins.' For those
unfamiliar with the story, the show's namesake "blows" into the
lives of the Banks family - who are desperately seeking a
nanny - by umbrella during a storm.
I am very familiar with the 1964 Walt Disney classic film
version of the musical, which stars Julie Andrews as Mary and Dick
Van Dyke as lovable chimney sweep Burt. I watched it many times
growing up and although it had been years since I last saw it, I
was surprised at how easily the words of the songs - all
enhanced in this stage version by authentic looking costumes and
upbeat choreography - came back to me. It took all of my nerve
and imagining a tiny, scolding Emily Post on my shoulder to not
sing along with the amazingly talented cast.
On the surface, 'Mary Poppins' is nothing short of a magical
show and if they can handle the two-and-a-half hour length, young
(ish) children will enjoy the music, dancing and theatrics. But
look beyond knee-slapping "Step in Time" and past delightfully
tongue-twisting "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and you'd be
surprised at the underlying life lessons.
As wise-for-her-age Mary Poppins - played practically to
perfection by a stunning Summer Naomi Smart - teaches the
Banks clan the importance of family, friendship, charity,
acceptance, communication and, of course, dreaming, you'll find
yourself learning, or re-learning, the meaning of these things,
As it was for me when I was younger, the depth of the story will
be lost on the little ones but teens and tweens will be able to
recognize and hopefully appreciate at least some, if not all, of
the messages. It may even open up the lines of communication
between you and them for further discussion. Perhaps while flying a
Jackie is the digital editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Oak Park with her daughter and husband.
See more of Jackie's stories here.
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