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Mary Poppins 

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 25 2012
Phone: 782-4040
Price: $30.50
tpac.org
This stage version of the P. L. Travers story famously dramatized in a 1964 Disney film musical comes into Nashville following sad news — the March 5 death of its co-composer, Robert Sherman. Along with his brother Richard, Sherman won Academy Awards and Grammys for work on extremely popular, family-oriented movies such as The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and many other projects. The Shermans — themselves practically a subsidiary industry to the Disney empire — wrote, among many other tunes, “It’s a Small World” and the Mary Poppins blockbusters “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” the latter two songs remaining intact in this reinvented mounting by Disney Theatricals and Cameron Mackintosh. The recent Mary Poppins revival began in London’s West End in 2004, spread to Broadway in 2006, and soon after launched into international tours (four productions are currently running on three continents). With a book by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, and with new music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the stage musical is not a direct adaptation of the film, but instead emerges as a fusion of both movie and the Travers series of books. (For example, those who fondly remember the famous dancing penguins won’t find them here.) The other big songs remain, though — such as “Jolly Holiday,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” and “Step in Time” — as does the original’s spirit of playfulness and warmth.
— Martin Brady

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