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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star). See all 62 reviews
on October 20, 2011
Very disappointing and really only for those who need a complete discography of this show. Verity Hunt-Ballard has a pretty enough voice, but her accent sounds like a high school kid trying to do Eliza Doolittle. Matt Lee's Bert sounds 16, except in a spoken intro when I actually thought he was a woman! His Cockney is in and out as well. Quast is good as you'd expect from him--except for his age, he'd have ben a better Bert. Debra Byrne has developed a Merman-esque vibrato.
That said, the orchestra is bright, the chorus is enthusiastic.
On the whole--save your money.
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on December 26, 2012
I expected the live cast recording to be the music from the movie. I haven't a clue what this live cast recording was done from. The vocalists were not as good, songs were omitted that were in the movie and the new songs were certainly not up to par with the original work. I guess next time I'll have to make sure that I buy the "Soundtrack". Live and learn....
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on April 21, 2011
This is a 2010 live recording of the stage adaptation of "Mary Poppins" with the Australian Cast. Live recordings usually have a high degree of excitement. This one is well done. The CD packaging is beautiful, with color production photos and full lyrics. But it quickly becomes apparent that too many "creative" people messed with Mary Poppins' magical carpetbag. Flying from screen to stage, Mary Poppins has lost all her charm and magic. Original "Poppins" author P.L. Travers would likely be pleased because the tone seems closer to her books. But Walt Disney is undoubtedly weeping and rolling over in his grave.
The stage Book by Julian Fellowes makes a shambles of the beautiful screenplay by Bill Walsh and Don Da Gradi for the original Walt Disney movie. The new songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe are horrible. Yet, you can almost sense that Stiles and Drewe think they are being so "clever" by "improving" upon a classic. They write some boring songs to add more "character" to the neglectful parents Mr. and Mrs. Banks. And Jane and Michael Banks sound like spoiled brats on this recording. The classic songs by Richard and Robert Sherman that are used in the stage version were performed much better in the original movie.
Worse, the stage version robs Mary Poppins of her aura of mystery. From the moment she lands on stage singing "Practically Perfect", Mary Poppins announces her intentions to make the Banks' family ship-shape again. As delightfully portrayed by Julie Andrews in the movie, Mary Poppins worked her wonders by practicising ingenious reverse psychology, and sharply proclaimed "I never explain anything." On stage, Mary Poppins explains it all for you. The magic of Mary Poppins has actually been diluted and severely "dumbed-down" for 21st Century Theatre Audiences. While singing "Spoonful Of Sugar", Verity Hunt-Ballard sounds like the Queen Of England, all proper and cold on a very bad day. The plot of stage version sounds just weird, cold, and shrewdly calculated. There is an odd new song called "Playing The Game." Mary Poppins, in effect, quits her job at the end of Act One, flying away with the children's toys. She returns in Act Two to battle it out with a horrible replacement nanny called Miss Andrews, singing a horrible song called "Brimstone And Treacle." Why?? Mary Poppins already replaced the horrible Katie Nanna. Why would she leave and return to engage in a Battle of The Good and Bad Nannies"? Is Mary Poppins' ego really so huge?
Of the stage cast, only Matt Lee shines as Bert.
At the conclusion of the original movie, Julie Andrews simply states, "Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking," and flies away. There is nothing so subtle, or so sensibly expressed, in the stage version. The sentiment that Mary Poppins found so abhorent is dripping all over the stage. And it is no mystery: The magic and wonder of "Mary Poppins" has so obviously been replaced on stage by crass commercialsm, courtesy of mega- theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh.
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