The Original London Cast Recording features all the favourites including Chim Chim Che-ree, Spoon Full of Sugar and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
may be one of the most beloved film musicals of all time, but it took 30 long years for it to transfer to the stage. This recording of the original London cast shows the wait was worthwhile though. The new version mixes in elements from both the original books by P.L. Travers (which she started publishing in 1934) and the Disney movie starring Julie Andrews, from 1964. (Mary
seems to take 30 years to do anything.) Most of the original songs by brothers Richard and Robert Sherman (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
) are present--Mary Poppins is so associated with "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "A Spoonful of Sugar," and "Chim Chim Cher-ee," her Oscar-winning duet with Bert, that starting from scratch would have been unthinkable. But then George Stiles and Anthony Drewe came in and dusted off some of these songs, and wrote entirely new numbers as well. Miraculous, these are wonderful and blend in seamlessly with the 1960s tunes, thanks in no small to William David Brohn's lovely orchestrations. As the titular super-nanny, Laura Michelle Kelly is so warm and scrumptious that she might as well be referring to herself when she sings "I'm practically perfect in every way." The rest of the cast is equally adept, making this Mary Poppins
sweet but not treacly, and the rare show to upstage its source. --Elisabeth Vincentelli