To the Editor,
...Califragilisticexpialidocious, that is!
Last night, my wife and I attended the opening night of Mary Poppins, and we certainly did not need a spoonful of sugar to make it “go down.”
Mary Poppins is a delightful Highlands Summer Festival musical production, brought to life by a gifted director, choreographer, cast and crew.
Scot Denton created magic with his awe-inspiring direction of this amazingly hard-working cast, and his efficient crew (who ran things with great precision – “like a British bank,” as Mr. George Banks would say).
I also keep wondering how on God’s green earth did choreographer (and star) Beth Robertson get everybody on that stage to accomplish those intricate song-and-dance numbers: the audience was gobsmacked by the cast’s nigh-to-impossible performance of “Supercali... etc.”
Speaking of accomplishment and performance, this was a truly seamless cast ensemble: from the smallest roles to Mary, from the oldest players to young Duncan Evans-Fockler (Michael Banks), every actor was “spit-spot” perfect.
Beth Robertson’s interpretation of Mary Poppins was a pure delight, and Carlo Blanchini’s “Bert” was heartwarming and charm itself – as intended, no doubt, he was the glue that connected the scenes and the characters to each other. Andrew Case and Kelsey Crowe had the unenviable task of playing Mary Poppins’s straight-laced employers, and they did so with great alacrity; as they say in England, well done you!
However, it was the littlest stars that really made this musical shine brightly. Tate Itani Smith, as Jane Banks, and Duncan Evans-Fockler, as her younger brother Michael Banks, absolutely stole every scene they were in. The chemistry between Tate and Duncan was so good that you easily believed they were sister and brother. Tate’s performance of the petulant pre-teen “Jane“ was at once fierce and wonderfully entertaining, not to mention her strong and beautiful singing voice. Duncan captured every single member of the audience’s heart with his enchanting delivery of the precocious-yet-adorable “Michael Banks.”
We are so very glad we saw Mary Poppins last night, because:
“Oh, it’s a jolly ‘oliday with Mary
Mary makes your ‘eart so light!
... No wonder that it’s Mary that we love!”