Sunday, 8 August 2010

Disney store visit and Mary Poppins review

Dear reader,

Well as you have noticed, I did not post an entry yesterday… and I had a very good reason for it. I was out of town and only returned late that evening. In the afternoon we went to a Disney Store and in the evening… we went to see the (Disney!) musical Mary Poppins.

As always I greatly enjoyed my visit to the Disney store… And as always it took me quite a while to decide what to buy… because there are always so many wonderful things to see and to buy! I eventually came home with a plushy. It’s a plushy of Christmas pluche of Stitch. Last year during Christmas I was already thinking of buy it, as it is extremely cute. However, I decided to spend my money on something else. And seeing that this pluche was the last one on all the Disney stores in Holland… I just HAD to grab my chance now. I know that I am a bit early with buying something for Christmas…. But seeing that Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and that I am one of those people who are stuck with Christmas songs in their head for most of the year, I thought: ah what the heck. Let’s buy it!
So… here’s a picture!

Isn’t it the cutest? It is extremely soft and it just screams cuddle me!

Well later that evening we went to the theatre to watch Mary Poppins. This was actually my second time going to the musical… and it was still as amazing and wonderful as the first time I went. The only pity was that we had the understudy of the woman who usually plays Marry Poppins, who was not nearly as good as the person who originally plays her. The understudy, called Sophie, rather had too many mannerisms. She played Mary instead of being her, if you know what I mean. Especially in the first act her portrayal of Mary seemed a little over the top, especially since she seemed to be trying to speak in a rather melodious voice, causing almost every sentence to end in a high note. During the second act her acting improved a little, causing it to come across as more natural. It made me wonder if she had been suffering from nerves or that she just simply had to get into the role first.

William Spaaij, the actor who plays the part of Bert, was impressive as always. The only remark I could make on him is on his accent. Whereas the British Bert speaks with an Cockney accent, the Dutch Bert speaks with an Amsterdam accent. However, Bert’s accent is so strong that it becomes unrealistic. I have been living in Amsterdam for all my life and there is no one who speaks with such a strong accent, not even in the area’s where people still speak it! I really thought this was a bit of a pity, since his performance is really superb. His dancing is always in complete synch with the chorusline and the other leads and he never murders the tune. I was especially impressed during the tap-dance number (in English it is called step in time). There Spaaij was; hanging up-side-down from the sealing whilst he was singing and tap-dancing at the same time!

I was also rather impressed with what they did with the character of Mrs. Banks (performed by Maike Boerdam). She no longer is the mother who is mostly concerned with ‘votes for women’, but is a mother who loves her children and her husband and is struggling to find a way to fill in the role of ‘being misses Banks’ (in Dutch it has been translated as ‘being the wife off’, which I think works rather well). In the end she convinces her husband of her worth and is finally allowed to take care of the kids herself. Mr. Banks had first insisted on having a Nanny, but of course Mary Poppins teaches him that there are more things than money and keeping up appearance.

The thing I was perhaps most impressed with is the stage setting. They have managed to create what looks like a large, drawn doll house, the front of which they can open and close at will to reveal the living room. At a certain point they even turn the house around and then open the back of the house revealing the kitchen. As they nursery is on the top floor, they have arranged it in such a way that the top floor is lowered to the ground (hiding the rest of the house from sight). When Mary Poppins (with or without Jane and Micheal) goes up on the roof, the front part of the top floor is lowered; which shifts before the nursery. The audience now sees the roof of the house, with the nursery windows. Like this:

(sorry couldn't find a better picture of it)
The stage setting really is ingenious. They really have outdone themselves with this.

For those of you who have the opportunity to see this musical it is a total must see. When you actually go to see it, please keep in mind that it is rather different from the movie. They have exchanged the talking penguins for statues which come to live (making it seem rather more realistic). Also the song supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is now sung in a store where they sell conversations and letters, rather than after Mary Poppins has won the horse race. Finally, she even fights with the evil nanny Andrew. And these are only a few of the differences… However, the musical really is just as charming as the movie. So, go and get your tickets now that you still can! I know that I will defiantly go to see it again (which will be my third time ;)).




Ayaka said...

I wish we had a theater like that = _ =; I'm really starting to unlike my town a lot <o< nothing good ever comes here and when it does, you will have to give them your first born to even attempt to afford it lol