REVIEW

‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’

‘Mary Poppins’ plays at the Argyle through December

Monica Musetti Carlin
Posted 12/7/23

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is the word of the hour at Babylon’s Argyle Theatre, whose current production of “Mary Poppins” runs through Dec. 31. It’s a …

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REVIEW

‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’

‘Mary Poppins’ plays at the Argyle through December

Posted

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is the word of the hour at Babylon’s Argyle Theatre, whose current production of “Mary Poppins” runs through Dec. 31. It’s a play the whole family can enjoy.
Based on the stories of P. L. Travers and the Walt Disney film, co-created for the stage by Cameron Mackintosh, Argyle’s artistic director Evan Pappas has delighted audiences once again under his direction. 
The production is stellar (no pun intended) right from the opening scene, where the idealistic purplish-blue hues of lighting designer Christopher Chambers’s set the stage for a mystical, magical experience.
The Banks children, Jane and Michael, alternately played by Charlotte Elizabeth Curtis or Cassidy Aideen Paul, and Finn Brown or Michael Hurst, are absolutely engaging from the moment they first take the stage. Such talent! The audience’s laughter began from the very beginning of the show and continued throughout, thanks to a mix of clever dialogue and staging, where Mary Poppins, superbly played by Lee Harrington, commands the stage as she pulls out of her bag of tricks, among other items, floor lamps and coat racks! She joins the children for the song “Practically Perfect,” which is so cute, as all the toys in their bedroom, including Queen Victoria and a wooden soldier, come to life.
Bert, so memorably played by Dick Van Dyke in the Disney film, was perfectly portrayed by Jack Saleeby, who took the role to new heights along with his fellow chimney sweeps, whose number was a highlight of the show, thanks to choreographer Debbie Roche. Period costumes by Peter Fogel, hair, wigs, and makeup by Samantha Naso and set decor by Elizabeth Olson and Steven Velasquez, invited the audience to take a step back in time. 
George Banks and his wife, Winifred Banks, lovingly portrayed respectively by Rudy Martinez and Jazmine Gorsline, invited the audience into their troubled lives and through the help of Mary Poppins and their devoted staff, were able to recapture the family’s joy! 
The introduction of Mr. Banks’s childhood nanny, with her dark and dubious countenance played by Lauren Gobes, contributed to the story where the film didn’t, adding another dimension to Mr. Banks’s dilemma of conscience. Her austere portrayal was frighteningly on point and perfectly balanced by that of the brightness of Mary Poppins. 
Familiar songs, “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “ Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” elicited childhood memories for the older audience members, one of whom said she’d be buying a subscription to Argyle’s entire season after seeing this show, and for the children, many of whom were seen dancing and singing as they walked out at the end of the production. It brings the magic of live theater into their lives, illustrated by the “oohs” and “aahs” as Mary Poppins flew across the stage—a feat in itself through the genius of the production’s design. 
“Mary Poppins” reminds audiences both old and young to take life in stride, stay true to yourself, and reach for the stars. The production is well worth seeing and a perfect addition to your holiday outings. 

For ticketing information  Visit argyletheatre.com