Review of “Mary Poppins – The Musical” at the Ahmanson (Spoiler Alert!)

Rachel Wallace as Mary Poppins
in the national tour of Mary Poppins.

Last Friday the Broadway musical “Mary Poppins” opened at the Ahmanson in Los Angeles. I took a friend, a former Disney animation producer, and we both agreed that Rachel Wallace, the star of the show, completely owned the role of “Mary Poppins” and embodied her.

We both grew up with the Disney feature starring Julie Andrews so it was breathtaking to realize Wallace’s performance is stand alone. It’s like, never for a moment did we think: “Oh, it’s a talented actor playing the part…that Julie Andrews once played.”

No, Wallace’s performance transcended.

In fact, when Mary Poppins flew to the rafters at the end of the show, I forgot about theatrics, special effects and guy lines and for a brief moment my heart went along with her up to the highest heights. It was just so super…califragileisticexpialidocious!!!

Incidentally, prior to Friday’s performance, I never thought of the character Mary Poppins as a bad-ass. Until now. She kicks ass! Now I don’t want to give away more of the story than what I’ve already said, but combine a compelling story, a good — er — I mean an evil villain, an innocent romance, pyrotechnics, flying, tap-dancing, ceiling walking, and “how did they do that?” illusions and you just may find yourself as amazed as I was.

Mary Poppins is only playing at the Ahmanson for an exclusive limited engagement this summer from August 9 to September 2 so hurry and get your tickets before the fly away! Do not miss it because, well you know, it’s a jolly holiday with Mary! For a younger audience, the show is a tad long — over 2 hours and 40 minutes — but I still think the kids will love it.

Oh, and FWIW, I was told that after the show, the performers often go to Kendall’s Brasserie, located on the street level of the Civic Center and wouldn’t you know, my source was right? We saw Alfred Molina who is currently starring in “Red” at the Mark Taper!

Note: As a blogger I just want to be clear that this review is my own and not a paid endorsement.