SAVING MR. THESPIS

Scott Levy is my hero. Truly. Here is a man who gets things done, who makes thing happen- who knows what the f*#@ he is talking about- especially when it come to talking about theatre. Mr. Levy is the artistic director of the theatre at the Fine Arts Center of Colorado Springs- which under his inspired guidance has become far and away the best theatre company in Colorado. His most recent triumph? The current production of the musical Mary Poppins- which is utterly charming, exciting, and heart-warming. The show is also proving to be amazingly popular- they have already added an extra week of performances. If you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift, giving someone a pair of tix to this outstanding show will definitely get you on their nice list.



The musical is based on both the Disney movie of the same name, and that movie's source material, the stories of P. L. Travers. It centers around the Banks family, who live in Victorian London and are in need of some guidance of their own. Mr. Banks is clearly lost in his banking job, and hasn't merely forgotten to stop and smell the roses, he's forgotten that roses exist. Mrs. Banks is trying to fit into her rather uptight world, and failing.  Michael and Jane, the two children, are a bit on the bratty side, and as such have lost a series of nannies in quick succession. Of course, all that changes with the entrance of Mary Poppins- whose chief magic isn't flying with her umbrella, or pulling an impossible amount of things from her bag to the wonderment of the Banks children- but rather the ability to see through the facades and defenses of everyone around her and into their souls. There is magic of former sort in the show, of course- special effects that delight the eye and confound the mind- but the real magic in this production is the spirit of the show itself- the great wonder of being alive, of being human.  (for info on the plot, characters, etc. click HERE)

I loved everything about this production: the cast, the set, the costumes, the lights, the special effects- the list goes on and on. First and foremost, the show is directed at a cracker jack pace- necessary because this is a huge show. Mr. Levy keeps the action lively, the plot moving forward, and fills the stage with vibrant, fully realized characters. The music- under the direction of Jay Hahn, is superb. The choreography by Mary Ripper Baker is a visual treat- both exciting on its own, but also furthering the story. I think one of the many numbers that shows how all three- director, choreographer, and music director- worked perfectly together would be the Jolly Holiday sequence in Act One, which perfectly blended whimsy, pathos, music and movement. The cast is outstanding, top to bottom. Tom Auclair as Mr. Banks is perfect. Tom Pierce as Bert the chimney sweep is a joy every time he's on stage. Sally Hybl is sweet and sympathetic as Mrs. Banks, full of grace and humor. Nate Patrick Siebert as Michael and Mallory Hybl as Jane are outstanding- getting young actors who can hit it out of the park like they do is a feat indeed. Almost stealing the show as the evil Miss Andrew is the amazing Jen Lennon- who was just flat out awesome. She walks on the stage, and you lean in and believe whatever she wants you to believe. And carrying the show with ease is Jennifer DeDominici as Mary Poppins. Ms. DeDominici gives the best female performance of the year on this or any other stage in Colorado. She sings like an angel, and I believed every moment she was on stage.

Again, tickets for this one are hard to come by, but if you can find a way to procure one, do yourself a favor and get to the FAC. This is one for the ages.


Comments

This is an amazing blog and article telling about this movie. The article was really a good movie review. I am hoping to watch some of the movie like this.
Marry Poppins was one of my favorite Fantasy classic movie. I will watch this movie again. Thank you for such an informative article and review about this movie.

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