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Mary Poppins’ musical fun for wide variety of theater-goers

Photo courtesy of Rolanda Copley

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The Tony Award-winning musical “Mary Poppins” has landed in Columbus, and her magical story is sharing a message with children and adults alike about the importance of imagination and the value of family.

The national tour of “Mary Poppins” is now playing at the Ohio Theatre, and with only single tickets remaining, people in Columbus are anxious to see the famous nanny.

The musical incorporates new songs, characters and plots to include original elements of the book series by P.L. Travers, while continuing to satisfy expectations of characters and musical numbers from the memorable 1964 Walt Disney film of the same name.

The show last Thursday evening, bursting with energy and bright scenery, was met with a full and equally energetic audience that clapped and cheered along with upbeat dance numbers like “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

A group of Wright State University medical students decided to take a study break and come see the show.
 
“We were really impressed. The dancing was amazing, the props were great, the acting was fabulous,” said Ashleigh Galizio, a second-year medical student from Wright State.
 
Props helped maintain the magic anticipated in the story, like a tall hat stand that was able to be pulled from Mary Poppins’ magical handbag and colorful kites that were flown in the theater for the upbeat musical number “Let’s Go Fly A Kite.”
 
“The crew in this show works so hard to put on the show every night,” said Steffanie Leigh, who plays Mary Poppins. “They never get a bow, and they really should.”
 
All of the crew’s hard work was visible to the audience through the seamless movement between scenes, and the elaborate set designs.
 
The Banks’ family home of 17 Cherry Tree Lane opened to the audience as if it were a dollhouse. Statues and toys came to life, and London chimney sweeps defied gravity on the rooftops with striking silhouettes of London behind them.
 
While the show attracted an audience of all ages, the theater was full of families, younger children and students.
 
Members of a Teays Valley East Middle School Choir came to the show on Thursday for a field trip and were impressed with the performance.
 
“It was really good. I liked when all the chimney sweeps were dancing.” said Madeline Perry, an eighth-grader at Teays Valley East Middle School, referring to the tap dancing in the song “Step in Time.”
 
The national tour of “Mary Poppins” began its run in Columbus on April 20 and will continue to run through May 8.
 
Tickets are available for purchase through the Ohio Theatre Box Office, Ticketmaster and www.ticketmaster.com, with prices starting at $22.50.

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