Review by Max D’Ambrosio – Showbill.ca Writer
The Arts Club Theatre Company has mounted a highly engaging production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s musical Mary Poppins. The famous titular sorceress intervenes in the very real problems of a family in Edwardian London, sparking a fantasy in which real emotion and the human condition make their presence felt.
Kayla James’ Poppins is an appropriately powerful force, striding the stage with confidence as she dispenses insightful advice and helpful magic. As for her young charges, Glen Gordon’s Michael Banks and Elizabeth Irving’s Jane Banks are completely endearing in their childhood folly and growth. Together they lead a passionate cast who all infuse their characters with individual life and strong archetypal traits.
Although one or two sound glitches caused split seconds of distraction, the show is equipped with sets, props, and costumes that delight the eye, allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in its imaginative world.
Beloved magical moments, such as the extraction of impossibly long objects from an ordinary-looking travel bag, are handled with flair and some truly impressive practical illusions. Poppins’ flying umbrella scenes are a particular standout, eliciting clearly audible appreciation from adults and children alike.
The Bottom Line
Filled with optimistic wonder and time-honoured wisdom, this Mary Poppins is just the right sugar-laden medicine for a cold winter’s night
Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s
A musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film
Original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Book by Julian Fellowes
Arts Club Industrial Stage to January 1, 2017
Cast: Kayla James, Susan Anderson, Glen Gordon, Elizabeth Irving, Caitriona Murphy, Milo Shandel, Scott Walters, Katey Wright, Scott Augustine, Keiran Bohay, Sierra Brewerton, Bobby Callahan, Jarret Cody, Julio Fuentes, Shannon Hanbury, Nathan Kay, Anna Kuman, Brianna Loop, Jennie Neumann, Micheal Querin
Production: Director Bill Millerd – Director, Ken Cormier – Co-Musical Director, Bruce Kellett – Co-Musical Director, Valerie Easton – Choreographer, Alison Green – Set Designer, Marsha Sibthorpe – Lighting Designer, Sheila White – Costume Designer, Connie Hosie – Assistant Costume Designer, Chris Daniels – Sound Designer, Craig Alfredson – Projection Designer, Chris Stolz – Magic Consultant, Caryn Fehr – Stage Manager
New songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe