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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Successful blending of od and new material,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)Could a classic film ever be improved? Well, it seems that "anything can happen, if you let it..."
This CD is a perfect example of the great job talented people can do when they decide to create something new based on existing material that is already perfect. Listen to the new versions of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" or "Jolly Holiday" and you'll understand what I mean. The new "Step in Time" is much more intriguing than the film's original version. Pay attention to how skilfully George Stiles (music) and Anthony Drewe (lyrics) incorporate the whole idea of "A spoonful of sugar" into "Brimstone and Treacle". I'm sure P.L. Travers, the author of the original books, would have loved both this song and the musical confrontation between Mary Poppins and Miss Andrew. But of all the new songs, "Anything can happen" really stands out as the perfect finale. And the "Shooting Star" is such a moving coda to the play. And it perfectly captures the bitter-sweet feelings of Mary Poppins's departure as this was described by P.L. Travers in the last chapter of the third Mary Poppins book ("Mary Poppins Opens the Door").
I really liked the creative team's efforts to be more faithful to the original books than the film was. I agree with those who say that the stage show does more credit to Travers's heroine than the Walt Disney film--although both the film and the original score by Richard and Robert Sherman will remain perennial favourites of mine, and they deserve to be so!
The show's cast is superb. Laura Michelle Kelly is an ideal Mary Poppins. As Julie Andrews herself said some weeks ago, the future lies in her hands and she has to carry the torch from now on. And this is true for Gavin Lee as well.
So, as everybody else has said before me, both the show and the CD are practically perfect in every way, as Mary Poppins herself is. But, believe it or not, the CD could have been even better if one or two tracks had been added. For example, having seen the show twice already, I do miss the reprises of "Cherry Tree Lane" and "Practically Perfect" in Act Two, while "Let's Go Fly a Kite" seems to be incomplete without the musical bridge that leads smoothly to "Good for nothing" in the actual show. (Actually the reprise of "Cherry Tree Lane" is mentioned in Amazon's Track listing but it obviously didn't make it to the CD, probably because the CD might have been too long. But these additions would not have increased its duration too much). Well, I now sound like Mary Poppins in the original books who never seems to be quite satisfied. So, I repeat: it is a perfect CD (although I consulted my Thesaurus to find synonyms for "perfect", I've chosen to stick to this word throughout the review because I also want to remain faithful to the original book's language!)
I can't wait to read Brian Sibley's book about the making of the show which is due to appear in June. And I do hope a DVD about the making of the show will appear, too!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vast improvement on the original - a treat for the ears!,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)On my way coming home from seeing this flawless stage show, I couldn't get some of the new songs out so I just had to buy the cast recording - something rare for me.
We all know (and love) the original songs, and 90% of them are included in this recording, but it's the additional material that makes this musical a work of genius. Hats off to George and Anthony for creating the new material which really helps flesh out Cameron's vision for the performance. Stand outs are "Practically Perfect" and "Temper Temper" - and "Anything can happen". The only one a bit hard on the ears is "Brimstone and Treacle" - but, in the fashion of "Temper Temper" (with a hint of the blasting pipe organ a la Phantom of the opera) it's meant to stand out of place within the original Sherman Brothers sound. Their additions to the original songs work very well, especially in "Jolly Holiday" with a glorious counterpoint section (just before a wonderfully jazzy end) at blending new and old material heard in the song. Some of the new lyrics are genius too: "To see a statue/dance like that you/can't beleive your eyes..." Also a well done to George Stiles for doing wonderful dance and vocal arrangements - something the composer rarely does nowadays.
As usual, with most of Cameron's productions, Bill Brohn's orchestrations are top notch. This recording is no exception, with a wonderful use of five pianos it really fleshes out the, already, large traditional broadway orchestra line up.
The cast is top notch, but every review will tell you that. The only slight dissapointing aspect is that David Haig's (Mr Banks)delightful rendition of "Supercala..." is not included on the CD. Generally, all the songs included in the show are there.
It is a shame that this CD is just not a film of the production, because the production is nothing other than a work of genius - but that's another review all together.
The recording certainly holds up to the show's reputation and will send you "soaring up through the atmosphere".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical,
By A Customer
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)The sherman Bros. have done something special here which cannot be described and to top it off their songs are sung by Laura Michelle Kelly, Gavin Lee and Rosemary Ashe - Yep, 70 minutes of musicthat's gonna be played many, many times!!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practically Perfect? No it's Perfect!,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)Saw the show in February 2005 and loved it! The CD sounds exactly like the show - great songs - well done to all concerned.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Supercalifragilistic.......,
By A Customer
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)As regular patrons to West End shows we have to say this one flies high above the others. The lead performances are superb, with Laura Michelle Kelly and Gavin Lee making the characters of Mary and Bert their own. Particular praise must go to Jenny Galloway for her warm hearted yet bombastic Mrs Brill, the house keeper, comic timing of the hightest degree. There are numerous new songs as well as new treatments of the film classics, the complete package is a work of brilliance. The direction, choreography, orchestrations and set were top notch, the only slight criticism in the show was the sound. Musical Director, Nick Davies, conducts the show with great sensitivity. We saw him conduct Martin Guere at the Prince Edward some years ago and My Fair Lady at Drury Lane, he seems to have such dramatic understanding when he conducts, a joy to watch adding to the spectacle of live theatre.
Equally so with the CD, which is as vibrant and entertaining as the show itself, giving us both such wonderful memories of practically.....a perfect evening at the theatre.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!!,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)I have been to see the show twice and waited with eager anticipation for the soundrack recording. I was not disappointed. The original songs and the new ones sound fantastic, especially 'Practically Perfect' and my favourite 'Anything Can Happen'. The booklet accompanying the CD contains all the lyrics so you can sing along to your hearts content. Laura Michelle Kelly is fantastic in the lead role but Gavin Lee who plays Bert is without doubt the star of the show.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mary Poppins London Stage Cast.,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)This CD is the Tops. It cames with a wonderful insert booklet containing all the lyrics and a wealth of pictures and info. The songs are excellant and the recording is vibrant. I am very pleased to have it in my collection.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the West End Cast album to own!,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)Original West End cast recording of "Mary Poppins",
First Night Records, CAST CD 93
With a running time of over 70 minutes this studio recording of the hit West End musical of the original Walt Disney film "Mary Poppins" with musical numbers by the Sherman brothers is a smash from the overture onwards. These days cast albums give you virtually the whole musical in an audio format and this certainly is the case here. The principals are superb and the new material by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe blends with the familiar easily bringing to life the magical story of Mary Poppins.
Laura Michelle Kelly is well cast as Mary and performs all of her numbers with the enthusiasm associated with this charming role. Gavin Lee as Bert is the ideal casting for this well-known and demanding stage role with his all round ability, a tremendous dancer, excellent singer and actor with a wide range of credits already to his credit. David Haig is very convincing as Mr Banks with an almost David Tomlinson sound to his treatment of the songs. The children are delightful bringing back memories of the 1964 film. The arrangements and beautiful orchestral sound under Musical Director Nick Davies make this a pleasure from the overture to the closing number!
This is the West End Cast album to own!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)It's been a wait of almost 40 years but finally Mary Poppins decends from the heavens and onto the West End stage. From the man who brought us 'Cats' 'Phantom Of The Opera' 'Les Miserables' and 'The Witches Of Eastwick' not to mention a handful of award winning re-inventions, Mary Poppins triumphs.
Cameron Mackintosh has teamed up with Disney to bring this enchanting musical to the stage and it has certainly recieved that Mackintosh magic. In a way that only he can the film version is completely cast aside and a new 21st Century Mary Poppins is unveiled.
Laura Michelle Kelly heads the cast as the practically perfect nanny - and she certainly is practically perfect. She throws away the Julie Andrews cliches and re-invents the songs in her own unique way. Just listen to the beginning of 'A Spoonful Of Sugar' to see what I mean.
Personally I found Gavin Lee's portrayal of Bert a little sinister on the first listen, but after a while it grows on you and you begin to realise just how great he actually is - if only because his accent is better than Dick Van Dyke's.
Linzi Hateley and David Haig play Mr and Mrs Banks, while the incomparable Rosemary Ashe plays the unfamiliar character of Miss Andrew, the formidable and ruthless nanny who arrives to take care of the Banks' children at the beginning of Act II.
For those unfamiliar with the new concept the storyline has been changed and the stage version of Mary Poppins now follows the original storys by P.L.Travers much more closely. Cameron Mackintosh has teamed up some of the leading theatre impressarios including Julian Fellowes who provided the script, the original Sherman Brothers songs have been added too and revamped by composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe and all the songs have been orchestrated by the masterful William David Brohn (orchestrator for Cameron Mckintosh's productions of Oliver!, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) and large sections of musical dance breaks have been added to incorporate the magnificent choreography of Stephen Mear and Matthew Bourne (choreographer of the hugely succesful Swan Lake), and the whole thing has been directed by the skillfully combined talents of Matthew Bourne and Richard Eyre.
This cast recording is a re-invention of a true family favourite. It gives a whole new perspetive on the lives of a dysfunctional family touched by the magic of a nanny who makes statues come to life and makes dancing on rooftops an everyday occurence.
Many of the origonal songs are still here, "Spoonful of Sugar", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and "Feed the Birds" (listen too this it's worth the cost of the CD alone!!)
This CD is practically perfect - Spit Spot
5.0 out of 5 stars Practically Perfect,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mary Poppins (Audio CD)If you've seen Mary Poppins on stage you'll know exactly what to expect from this CD. It's been a while since I saw it myself but I believe this CD includes all the songs performed on stage. It's nice to have to remind me of when I saw the show in London. Some of the songs are not in the movie so in some ways it is nice to have this version rather than the movie soundtrack version. That said, I think I do prefer the movie versions of the most well-known songs, but that's probably because they were the versions I heard first.
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