Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006

Mary Poppins

It took a long time for the Disney family favorite to jump from screen to stage, but it was worth the wait: this Broadway musical is a rare improvement on a classic. Several sprightly new songs have been stitched into to the familiar Sherman Brothers score with hardly a seam showing. Bob Crowley's meticulous sets and Matthew Bourne's inventive, high-flying choreography provide the required spectacle. But it's director Richard Eyre's sober treatment of the themes of childhood and adulthood that add the nutrition to the spoonfuls of sugar. Another slick Disney commercial hit? I say bravo.