Run Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.
One-Sentence Synopsis: Based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the classic Walt Disney film, this is the story of the Banks family and how their lives change after the arrival of nanny Mary Poppins at their home at 17 Cherry Tree Lane.
Show Advisory: Suitable For All Ages
Tony Awards: One award, seven nominations
What the critics had to say.....
BEN BRANTLEY of the NEW YORK TIMES: "Handsome, homily-packed and rather tedious show." & "Even young children with great patience (is that an oxymoron?) may grow restless with the implicit lecturing between those moments when Mary flies, literally and figuratively." & "But with all due respect, that heavy invisible volume on family counseling that you (Mary Poppins) tote around with you makes it hard for any magical nanny to fly beyond familiar horizons."
JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: "Nobody does magical entertainment like Disney - except Cameron Mackintosh. The two have teamed up for the musical 'Mary Poppins,' which opened last night on Broadway and won't be going anywhere for a long time. It is a roof-raising, toe-tapping, high-flying extravaganza." & "Ashley Brown is a joy to watch as the enigmatic nanny who helps the Banks family - George and Winifred and their children, Michael and Jane - realize how much they need each other."
CLIVE BARNES of THE NEW YORK POST: "LOVELY!" & " 'Mary Poppins' was fine as a Disney movie and is even better as this Broadway musical." & " 'Mary Poppins' looks and sounds complete - a perfectly engineered piece of musical theater." & "The staging by Richard Eyre and co-director Matthew Bourne and choreography (Bourne and Stephen Mear) seem seamless, although perhaps Bourne, with a set of smoothly energized and imaginative dance numbers, deserves the most laurels."
MICHAEL SOMMERS of STAR-LEDGER: "Resembles a vast, elaborate clockwork toy of yesteryear. It's festooned with an array of bells, whistles and cute mechanical figures. Whether kids will be thrilled by such a vintage gadget is debatable. Adults are likely to mix fond smiles with yawns. While the energetic Sherman Brothers parts of the score are enjoyable, the cluttered musical isn't as wonderful as hoped." & "This over-stuffed version of 'Mary Poppins' strives very hard to satisfy viewers. Sometimes it succeeds. But for a show about enchantment in everyday life, isn't magic supposed to seem effortless?"
LINDA WINER of NEWSDAY: "A quaint, muddled, beautiful-looking musical with plenty of spectacle but even more emotional distance."
ROBERT FELDBERG of THE RECORD: "If thorough competence -- covering all the bases, dotting the i's, crossing the t's -- were the goal of a Broadway musical, "Mary Poppins" would be a standout. The long-awaited, very expensive-looking British import, which opened Thursday night at the New Amsterdam Theatre, has all the standard essentials: talented performers who sing, dance and act well; elaborate production numbers; a well-loved story. What's missing is inspiration, the imaginative spark that snaps a musical to life and makes the audience go 'Wow!'"
JACQUES LE SOURD of JOURNAL NEWS: "The kid-friendly hit of the year has arrived. This show is indeed, to quote one of its sparkling new songs and a self-appraisal by Mary Poppins, "Practically Perfect. So, go." & "The dances, together with Bob Crowley's extraordinarily detailed sets and costumes, contribute to the lush grandeur of a real Broadway musical - the kind we haven't seen in a long time."
PETER MARKS of the WASHINGTON POST: "Anyone hoping that this show -- staged by director Richard Eyre and choreographer Matthew Bourne -- would provide much in the way of robust musical pleasure or emotional sustenance is likely to find it a wee bit of a letdown." & "A bigger problem has to do with the portrayal of Mary herself. It's clear that Mary, as drawn in the stories of P.L. Travers, was never meant to be as saccharine as "A Spoonful of Sugar" makes her out. In this incarnation, however, she's neither sweet nor sour: She has almost no personality at all. In the placid mien and clipped vowels of Ashley Brown, Mary seems not so much a calming influence as she does an automaton. She walks and talks with a robotic briskness."
MICHAEL KUCHWARA of ASSOCIATED PRESS: "Watching 'Mary Poppins,' the Disney-Cameron Mackintosh extravaganza now on view at the New Amsterdam Theatre, is a little like eating an entire box of expensive chocolates - all by yourself. You may end up feeling a bit overstuffed, but, boy, the experience will be fun. Tasty, too." & "Yet at its heart, this is a small story, a family drama that is resolved with the help of a determined, thoroughly directed young woman. That this human and humane story shines through all the dazzling theatrical effects demonstrates the potency of its emotional impact."