By Peyton Combs
*Editor’s Note: For more coverage, check this weekend and early next week.
Mary Poppins, a 1964 musical film known for its whimsical lead character and its songs “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Feed the Birds” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” was brought back to life Saturday night by the Floyd Central Theatre Department. Directed and designed by theatre teacher Robbie Steiner, the production maintained the same charm and authenticity as the original film while also adding special effects that kept the audience entertained throughout the entire show. Between the oddly real looking sets, familiar songs, and dance numbers, this play was so good that it was practically perfect.
For the opening night, Mary Poppins went on without a hitch. As far as I could tell the performance went on as planned and the audience loved every minute of it. It was a somewhat adorable moment when some of the audience members could be heard throughout the auditorium singing along to the classic songs from the original film, and I can honestly say this is one of the best plays I have seen performed on FC’s theatre stage.
The actors and actresses in the play did a fantastic job, and I think the roles that the casting director picked for each of the actors fit them to a tee.
Watching Madeline Coffey, who played the role of the main character Mary Poppins, flawlessly performs each scene was like a blast from the past back to when when Julie Andrews played the part. It was proven in FC’s production of The Wizard of Oz that Mitchell Lewis was an exceptionally talented singer and dancer, but he really outdid himself playing the role of Bert. Adam Cantrell (George Banks), Sarah Denison (Winifred Banks), Lola White (Jane Banks), and Ruby Miller (Michael Banks) played the roles of the Banks family, and the family-like vibe that they gave off throughout the entire performance was uncanny. Cantrell and Denison played the role of a struggling-yet- loving couple perfectly, and it is nearly impossible to believe that Miller and White are not actually siblings.
Although both the acting and musical numbers were compelling and onpoint throughout the entire night, the special effects by far made the biggest impact on the show. In the story, Mary Poppins is an enchanting nanny with all sorts of magical powers. She takes the Banks children on many adventures in which she makes non-living sedimentary objects come to life or move without ever touching them.
In the beginning when Mary meets the children, they begin to act up, and Mary make items in their nursery move. Another instance is when the children have totally wrecked the family’s kitchen right before their mother throws a party, and Mary is able to use her powers to clean up the mess without lifting a finger.
The most fascinating effect that they were able to do was lift the characters into the air. There is a specific scene in the play where all of the chimney sweeps are dancing and Bert (Mitchell Lewis) walks up the side of the wall and onto the ceiling. Later, Mary flies across the auditorium.
Now I know what you might be thinking, but I promise you that I am not dense. I don’t really believe that these people were actually flying, but it doesn’t make the moments any less mesmerizing. I am not exactly what anyone would consider a “fan of the arts,” but the plays that I have enjoyed the most are the ones that really have that “wow” factor. In many of the scenes they acted in ways that I’m sure the audience wasn’t expecting, and for that reason alone I feel it was truly a good play.
Everyone knows the old saying “every rose has its thorn,” and while I feel that the play was a total success, I also feel like they cut out some of the most memorable scenes from the movie. If you have ever seen the 60s movie, you would probably remember the scene in which Mary Poppins transports into a painting of the countryside. In this scene, the phrase “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” was introduced. I can’t deny that I was slightly disappointed by this change, but overall the play writers stuck to the original story line and made it a grade A performance.
The show is running this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and this Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Regardless of whether or not you are a fan of the performing arts, I strongly recommend that everyone go and see this play. Everyone involved in Mary Poppins did a fantastic job, and the production is nothing less than a spoonful of sugar.