‘Mary Poppins’ flies into Omaha’s Rose Theater during June

Mary Poppins at the Rose Theater

A flying nanny in Omaha? Yep, at least until June 28th. The Rose Theater is presenting “Mary Poppins” as its last show of the 2014-15 season. The show is part of the theater’s “Broadway” series.

“Mary Poppins” is the story of how a magical nanny helps put back together a broken family. Mary arrives just in the nick of time to help the Banks family. George Banks is the patriarch. He is a successful banker, who tends to put things in line with structure and order. Mrs. Banks is very subservient to her husband. She’d rather keep him calm than actually speak her mind. The kids – Jane and Michael – are rambunctious.

The Banks children tend to burn through nannies, as they don’t fall into line with structure and order. As Mr. and Mrs. Banks argue about the children’s behavior and his expectations of her with high society, in pops Mary Poppins.

She has an immediate magical touch with the children. She is a bit stern in the beginning, but as the show moves along, the affection between her and children become evident.

The show is narrated a bit by Bert, a chimney sweep. Patrick Beasley shines as Bert. He does a great British accent and is realistic in the role. He reminded me of Dick Van Dyke’s character in the Disney movie version.

Bert shines on the stage in Mary Poppins at the Rose Theater

Maggie Mitchell portrayed Mrs. Banks to almost perfection. She starts as a bit meek, acquiescing to her husband. She even addresses her concerns about her identity in song.

Leanne Hill Carlson is excellent as Mary Poppins. She has an outstanding singing voice. The scenes with her flying are amazing. Our 11-year-old niece was quite taken with her character.

Mary Poppins close-up on stage at the Rose Theater

Joseph Dignoti is believable as Mr. Banks. You actually think he is the character he’s portraying.

The children gave strong performances. It had to be tough for Morgan Ryan (Jane) and Aidan Schmidtke (Michael) to stay in character with British accents while talking AND singing. It’s tough for me to talk Midwestern some days, so I can’t imagine having to use another accent.

The Banks children, Michael and Jane in Mary Poppins at the Rose Theater

The musical performances help make the 2.5-hour performance move fast. This show is probably for older children (5 and above). Younger kids may become a bit fidgety. There is a short intermission.

While most people may think “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is THE song of the musical, my favorite performance was “Step in Time.” It featured Bert in the lead. A chorus line of chimney sweep dancers and singers backed him up. Mary and the children also performed.

I’m a sucker for good tap dancing, and “Step in Time” delivered. It impresses me that people can be in perfect time with one another and make the tap sound so strong and fun. Some of the dance moves reminded me of the Disney musical “Newsies.” But, I’m OK with that.

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” was another great performance. The use of colorful umbrellas with the letters was intriguing.

Who doesn’t like “Let’s Go Fly a Kite?” They had me wanting to run out to the store then and there and buy a kite. Probably not a wise thing to do with lightning in the sky that evening.

Mary Poppins, Bert, the Banks Children in Go Fly a Kite at the Rose Theater

The song “Spoonful of Sugar” sends a few messages to Mr. Banks – treat people a little better and it pays off in the long run. It also helped prepare him for some possible bad news in the second act.

The song helps the children realize that if you’re nice, that niceness is returned to you. The kids go from being challenging to any nanny to actually being nice to people.

Just a Spoonful of Sugar in Mary Poppins at the Rose Theater

Mrs. Banks grows stronger as the show progresses. She eventually gains her confidence and provides some real support and even leadership to her husband.

The Rose’s performance of “Mary Poppins” is based on the Tony-awarding Broadway hit, written by Julian Fellowes. Fellowes, as you may recognize, is the creator of the British television and PBS series “Downton Abbey. Some of the show’s dialogue reminds me of the show.

“Mary Poppins” runs through June 28th at the Rose. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Additional performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday (June 11 and June 18) and Saturday (June 27).

For ticket and show information, please visit www.rosetheater.org.

We have your chance to win 4 passes to see this fabulous show for yourself! Just enter the giveaway below! Good luck!

Disclaimer: Thank you to The Rose Theater for the complimentary viewing on media night. However, all opinions and views are ours.

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