review: tuts mary poppins is supercalifragilistic

Outstanding cast performances, lively choreography, and beautiful set design make Theatre Under the Stars’ Mary Poppins a show you’ll remember for a lifetime. We laughed, sang along and were captivated by every scene. With Mary Poppins flying in on her umbrella and Stanley Park as the backdrop, you’re in for a magical night!

tuts mary poppins
Cast with Mary Poppins (Ranae Miller) and Bert (Victor Hunter). Photo by Tim Matheson.

The production is based on the Walt Disney movie and the stories of P.L. Travers. It opens with Jane and Michael Banks running away from their nanny, Katie Nanna, resulting in her exasperated resignation. Jane and Michael want a nanny that is more fun and their parents want one that will keep them out of trouble and out of their hair. Mary Poppins answers their wishes and begins to put the disjointed family back together with a bit of magic and a spoonful of sugar (of course).

If you’ve only seen the movie you’ll be pleasantly surprised with additional scenes and characters like George Banks’ childhood nanny Miss Andrew. Also known as ‘the Holy Terror’, Miss Andrew returns to look after Jane and Michael in Mary Poppins absence. In a favourite musical scene, Miss Andrew waves her spoon of ‘brimstone and treacle’ menacingly at the children before facing off with Mary Poppins’ and her ‘spoonful of sugar’. We’ll let you guess who wins.

The show also features new musical numbers and alternate lyrics as well as everyone’s favourites. The performance of ‘Jolly Holiday’ includes a human carousel that awed the crowd and penguins that are ingeniously attached to Bert’s feet in homage to the famous Walt Disney scene. ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ was colourful and kinetic with the cast physically spelling the word while singing, and ‘Step in Time’ combined ballet, tap and acrobatic dance with dramatic effect.

Cast with Mary Poppins (Ranae Miller) and Bert (Victor Hunter). Photo by Tim Matheson.

Our 4-year-old daughter loved the songs and energy of the performance and also being outside under the stars to watch it. But this show is just as much fun for adults, especially if you grew up dreaming of sliding down banisters with Mary Poppins. If you’re going to see one show this summer, this should be it.

Pro Tips:

  • The show runs from 8pm until almost 11pm so be prepared for a late bedtime or plan to hold any sleepy children.
  • If your kids are squirmers and won’t sit in seats there is a grassy hill to the right of the stage where you can stretch out and move around as much as you need.
  • The bank of porta potties closes during the performance so go before you go!
  • The air can turn chilly after dark in the park so bring cozy sweaters or blankets
  • Mosquitos turned up around dusk and then dissipated so you might want bug spray

By Alex Cubitt

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