REVIEW: No Need For Sugar at Fair Park Music Hall

by Joy Donovan on April 17, 2013

Mary and Bert sing among the roof tops.

Mary and Bert sing among the roof tops.

No need for a spoonful of sugar. “Mary Poppins” doesn’t need to be any sweeter to be gobbled up as a pleasant time at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

The Dallas Summer Musicals (www.dallassummermusicals.org) presentation of the North America tour is filled with the catchy, hum-worthy songs actress Julie Andrews made so popular in the 1964 Walk Disney film. From “A Spoonful of Sugar” to “Feed the Birds” to “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” the well-remembered songs are all there, along with a few new additions.

The production still centers on the tale of a new nanny appearing for the Banks family. The most recent Broadway revival, which premiered the new musical numbers, opened on Broadway in November 2006 and received seven Tony nominations, including Best Musical. The show’s true delights remain its big production numbers. Leads and chorus team up to make “Step in Time” a show stopper, and the spring-like park set with bright costumes were visual candy.

Con O’Shea-Creal steals the show as Bert the chimney sweep. He’s charming and equally talented at singing and dancing, even when upside down. Although she looks the part of the mostly no-nonsense, practically perfect nanny, Madeline Trumble doesn’t have the voice quality Julie Andrews spoiled us with. The Banks children, played alternately by matched sets of child actors, are cute but a little too robotic.

The term “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” doesn’t really apply to this “Mary Poppins,” and it’s not really super, either. But it is fun, filled with jaw-dropping stunts, happily familiar ditties and some high-kicking choreography. And as always, “Mary Poppins” brings an element of fun.

Next from Dallas Summer Musicals will be the return of “Wicked,” opening April 10 and playing though May 5.

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