Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mary Poppins
BDT STAGE: Through September 5

                       Tracy Warren 


    Every child will adore BDT Stage's "Mary Poppins and every adult in attendance will return to the age of nine by the time the first chords of Neal Dunfee’s just offstage orchestra begins to play.

    Tracy Warren is ‘practically perfect’ as the nanny with all that magic. She’s adorable, sings like a lark and is a fine actor into the bargain.

Shelly Cox-Robie adds an endearing portrayal of  Mrs. Banks to a long list of indelible performances including Mrs. Anna in “The King and I” Mother in “Ragtime” and Eliza in “My Fair Lady.”

    The amazing Joanie Brosseau treats us to such diverse supporting roles as Mrs. Brill, the Bird Woman and Queen Victoria. 

     Wayne Kennedy is a very fine Mr. Banks. Kennedy, who has done knock-out portrayals of everything from the King in “The King and I” to “Tevye” in the recent smash “Fiddler on the Roof” has got the Midas touch that turns anything he does into musical theatre gold.

     Amanda Earls is intentionally (and deliciously) repulsive in the role of Miss Andrews, the tough-as-nails nanny that horrified Mr. Banks when he was a boy. Finally Ms. Earls gets to show off those incredible operatic pipes with her devastatingly brilliant rendition of “Brimstone and Treacle.”

The performance at which this reviewer was in attendance featured Katie Phipps and Kaden Hinkle in the roles of Jane and Michael Banks. Rylee Vogel and Max Eugene Raabe play these roles on alternating evenings.

     Eric Ellis is terrific as Neleus, the statue that becomes animated by Mary Poppins’ magic while Jane and Michael enjoy their “Jolly Holiday" in the park.

     Scott Beyette has done yeoman’s work in directing this opus. Not only has he been able to draw in all the requisite theatrical talents for this colossal endeavor, they all work! Beyette paces the show in such a way that the evening flies by. If that's not enough, he also plays Bert!

  Troy Trinkle’s aerial choreography doesn’t just send actors up into the air. He also somehow manages to send our hearts up there, too. Awesome flying!

     Amy Campion’s scenic design for this show is perhaps the most complex ever to have been attempted- and successfully executed -upon the BDT Stage. It's a character all in its own rite in which things break and self-mend and items appear out of nowhere and return there by sheer theatre magic. Magnificent!

     Brett Maughan’s lighting design is stunning. Manipulating mood and atmosphere with what seems to be complete ease, Maughan proves himself once again to be a master.

     The Audio Design by Wayne Kennedy allows this glorious music to be heard and enjoyed with clarity and balance.

      The costume design created by Linda Morken is so varied and so fantastical that the term eye-popping really doesn’t do it justice. The bedazzlement she has invented for the “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” scene leaves one sitting mouth-open 'like a codfish' in rapt amazement.

     Matthew Peters’ choreography is breathtaking!!! The Supercalifragilistic…oh you know… scene is done with so much inventive movement and exuberant verve we are swept into what one can only refer to as choreographic heaven. The same is only slightly less true of Peters’ work on “Step in Time.”

You’re gonna be over the moon when you attend this production. It's the perfect tonic for the depression brought on by the 5:00 news. 

      BDT Stage's "Mary Poppins" will send you soaring out into the summer evening with a grin that’ll last for days.

And don’t forget that there’s a great menu! The Prime Rib gently mooing is this reviewer’s favorite. There’s also great Salmon and Chicken Cordon Bleu. There’s even British Bangers and Mashers this time! The Guacamole made fresh in house and the new Bosco Mozzarella bread sticks with Marinara are now competing in this reviewer’s taste bud memories with the excellent shrimp cocktail for appetizers. And the desserts! Go online and check out the array of sweets that include their award-winning Key Lime Pie and Pecan Turtle Cheesecake. 

   All of these contain at least one "Spoonful of Sugar."(Sorry!)

Boulder’s Dinner Theatre is located at 5501 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder, CO.

For tickets go online at or call the Box Office at 303-449-6000,ext.4

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