Tauranga Musical Theatre's Mary Poppins was "practically perfect" in every way.
Hats off to the theatre group for its remarkable production of the Broadway musical, which opened on Saturday night and continues at Baycourt until October 7.
It's hard to describe TMT as an amateur theatre society after the Mary Poppins experience - they had singing of the highest calibre, impressive acting, beautiful costuming and great choreography all amplified by Baycourt's outstanding sound and lighting elements.
Mary Poppins was simply joyful with warm fuzzies all around.
Special mention needs to be made of the set. Gasps could be heard from the audience when the half-million-dollar custom-made multifaceted set started transforming.
"It's like a Barbie house," my 10-year-old daughter whispered.
Way better than that - the set opened, closed, rotated, moved back and forth and served as a backdrop.
Surprises were at every turn, some from within. It was just amazing to watch. The labyrinth-type set is ideal for the fast-paced nature of this musical, its multiple venues and steady stream of delightful musical numbers.
A good musical requires great singers, and TMT delivers. The best songs are those sung in unison, just about blowing the roof off Baycourt.
Every singing voice heard was top notch - Sara Toomer's voice is ideally suited to the challenging Mary Poppins musical numbers, Fraser Graham and Melissa Nicholson (Mr and Mrs Banks) are also lovely singers and Reiss Jenkinson is a delightful singing and dancing chimney sweep Bert. Jan Beets makes an outstanding return to the stage as the formidable Miss Andrews.
Child actors (on this particular night Jacob West and Jade Newton) are also charming singers and serious up-and-coming actors.
Hands down, best tap-dancing chimney sweep flash mob ever seen.
- By Rebecca Mauger