Director Jewels: Mary Poppins at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mary Poppins at Kansas City Starlight Theatre {Review}

Disclosure: I received press passes to attend this event. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Fiona Scott as Jane Banks, Analisa Leaming as Mary Poppins, and Maddox Bane
as Michael Banks in Starlight Theatre's production of MARY POPPINS. Photo by Kelsey Clark.

I've wanted to see a professional production of Mary Poppins for years. I was delighted to learn that this show would grace the stage under the stars this summer at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City.

With a rehearsal time period of under two weeks, sixteen Kansas City actors, and a heaping spoonful of magic, this production is breezing by in a hurry - it's only playing through August 2. The production was designed just for Starlight's audience and features new costumes created by Kansas City Costume Co. plus a set that was designed and constructed in collaboration with four other regional theatres across the country. The set design is seamless and scene changes fly by in a blink.

Each member of the cast exhibits the expected spirit of the familiar characters. I feel that a longer rehearsal time period may have built some additional chemistry and better pacing between the characters, but the energy was high and the crowd was enthusiastic. The musical's plot is a combination of the Disney musical adaptation and the original stories written by P.L. Travers.

Most people expect to see someone who reminds them of Julie Andrews in the title role, and Analisa Leaming (last seen at Starlight in The Sound of Music) did not disappoint. She was anything but a carbon copy, but portrayed a lovely character both reminiscent of the practically perfect movie and filled with new spirit of her own.

Fiona Scott of St. Louis stars as Jane Banks, and Maddox Bane of Kansas City stars as
Michael Banks in Starlight Theatre's production of MARY POPPINS. Photo by Kelsey Clark.

All in all, it is a magical production that will delight both young and old. There's a particularly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious bit of magic toward the end of the show that had the audience in awe! Make sure you stay for the curtain call singalong, too. I have to say that this is the first Starlight show I have seen in years where everyone stayed in their seats until the last note of music played. The fun was just too much - no one wanted to leave!

Tickets for Mary Poppins at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $12 to $92. Tickets are available online at Starlight Theatre, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

Thanks to Starlight Theatre for providing my tickets to the show. I received no other compensation and all views expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

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