By Skip Sheffield
A revved-up, scaled-down version of the musical “Mary Poppins” is enjoying a short stay through Feb. 3 at Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
This is a kind of jewel box, pop-up-book version of the show, featuring an ingenious revolving, unfolding set designed so scenes can be changed very quickly. Unlike the touring version that visitedBrowardCentera few years ago, this production does not have the magical Mary Poppins flying over the audience. I’m guessing the much higher ceiling of Kravis makes rigging the flying much more difficult. Mary still flies, but her flying is confined to the stage.
This isn’t “Peter Pan” after all. The fact that Mary can levitate with her umbrella is just one of her many talents.
Mary Poppins changes people for the better, and in Madeline Trumble’s performance that quality shines loud and clear.
There is a clear need for change in the Banks household in Londonat the turn of the 20th century. Father George (Chris K. Hoch) is a grouch and a tyrant, obsessed with his banking job and old before his time. The Banks children Jane (Madison Mullahey alternating with Julianna Rigoglioso) and Michael (Zachary Mackiewicz alternating with Eli Tokash) are out of control, have driven away six previous nannies. Mother Winifred (Kerry Conte) tries in vain to keep the piece.
Serving as narrator is Bert the chimney sweep (Con O’Shea-Creal, an excellent singer and dancer from the Broadway show), who is also a close friend of Mary Poppins, who suddenly appears one day at just the right time, just as the latest nanny has fled in frustration.
The familiar songs, by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, are augmented by new songs and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Crewe. Rest assured your toes will be tapping to such favorites as “Chim Chim Cheree,” “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” played by a most spirited orchestra in the pit.
A hallmark of this show is its excellent dancing chorus, with Matthew Bourne’s imaginative, clever choreography.
You could say this is the ideal family show, for really that is what it is about. “Mary Poppins” provides a much-needed shot of optimism in troubled times.
Tickets are $25 and up. Call 800-572-8471 or go to www.kravis.org/marypoppins.
50 Years of High Fashion atBocaMuseum
You will have plenty of time to see the just-opened “IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA Showcases,” for it is on display at Boca Raton Museum of Art through April 13 inMiznerPark.
CFDA stands for Council of Fashion Designers of America and this is the first museum exhibition devoted to the American artistry of the leading fashion trade organization in theUnited States. The show was spearheaded by CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg and its features costumes, garments and accessories of the past half-century’s most important designers. Interactive touchscreen displays illustrate a timeline of American fashion made by the nearly 600 designers who have been members of the CFDA over the past 50 years. Curators are Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology inNew Yorkand Fred Dennis, the FIT curator.
Famous names include Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Carolina Hertera, Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, Alexander Wang and Thom Browne. The show is sponsored in part by Neiman Marcus.
Call 561-392-2500 or go to www.bocamuseum.org for more information.
FAU Dance Theatre “Choroflo”
FAU Dance Theatre Ensemble presents “Choreoflo” performances at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2 and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Florida Atlantic University Theatre. Admission is $20 adults, $16 faculty staff and alumni, $12 students and $5 children under 12. Call 800-564-9539 or go to www.fauevents.com.
“The Whole Caboodle” at Mizner Park
“The Whole Caboodle” is on display through Feb. 24 in the second floor Studio Theater of Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center.
This is the second offering of the second season of Parade Productions. The amazingly productive Michael McKeever both wrote and will star in this collection of his short plays. Topics include Stephen Sondheim, Abe Lincoln, Munchkins, ambivalent lesbians and artist Grant Woods’ “American Gothic.” Directing “The Whole Caboodle”Kim St.Leonand lending support are Elena Maria Garcia, Jaqueline Laggy, Clay Cartland, Casey. If you would like to join in on the fun, for a $100 or more tax-deductible donation to Parade Productions you can be part of the show in a walk-on role.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $35 and $40 ($30 group).
Call 866-811-4111 or go to www.paradeproductions.org. For group sales call 561-291-9678.