This stage adaptation does have its share of memorable moments. Foremost is the most resounding audience-rouser of the evening, the above-mentioned full-court press by the chimney sweeps across rooftops, high-stepping through the up-tempo "Step in Time." I suspect that if more of the numbers rose to that level of showmanship and musicality, Mary Poppins would have been more of a critic-pleaser as well as a crowd-pleaser.

A charming inclusion is the presence of Mr. Banks's childhood nemesis, Nanny Andrew (Q. Smith), whose glowering discipline he now credits with making a man of him. In widow-weeds black, she sweeps in at the beginning of Act Two, bellowing out "Brimstone and Treacle" to contrast with that shockingly indulgent spoonful of sugar. Like a fairy godmother, Ms. Poppins — who had left, her work seemingly done, at the end of the previous act — promptly arrives to poof her away to, it appears, hell.

Like its namesake, this Mary Poppins is only for kids who can take the bitter with the sweet.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Theater , Mary Poppins, comedy, Providence Performing Arts Center,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   A SO-SO SATIRE  |  July 02, 2014
    There’s this poor country whose medium of exchange is goats (actually, promises of parts of a goat — promissory goats).
  •   PROFOUNDLY SILLY  |  June 25, 2014
    It’s been more than a half-century since Eugène Ionesco’s first play, The Bald Soprano , was written in a burst of splenetic post-WWII exasperation over the ludicrous behavior of his species.
  •   TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY  |  June 18, 2014
    It doesn’t hurt that Angels In America is, in several regards, the greatest American play ever written.
  •   PUNCHING THE CLOCK  |  June 18, 2014
    We come into the world, we rub our eyes, we look around and squall, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out why we had to bother.
  •   MEETING OF THE MINDS  |  June 11, 2014
    The knockout production avoids digressions and keeps the interplay punchy, leaving us reeling as well. Think ' Crossfire' on the History Channel.

 See all articles by: BILL RODRIGUEZ