Mary Poppins | Mercury Theater Chicago | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Nicole Armold, Pearle Bramlett, Casey Lyons, and Cory Goodrich

Nicole Armold, Pearle Bramlett, Casey Lyons, and Cory Goodrich

Brett Beiner

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 28 2017
Price: $30-$65, seniors $30-$60, students $30-$50
Here's a version of Mary Poppins that will frustrate both purist fans of the stories by P.L.Travers and those of us for whom the glorious 1964 Disney film was a defining experience. The show, cocreated by Cameron Mcintosh (the man who brought us Cats) and revived by the Mercury Theater Chicago, combines elements and characters from both the books and the movie (which Travers famously did not like) to create an awkward, overly long hybrid filled with both the wonderful old tunes by the Sherman brothers and less wonderful new ones by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The needlessly complicated story Julian Fellowes cobbled together runs out of gas halfway through the second act. Led by Nicole Armold’s likable Mary, director L. Walter Stearns’s fine A-list cast carries on bravely, but in the end the whole spectacle leaves us wanting less. —Jack Helbig



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