Most people are familiar with the movie version of the magical nanny. In the original book, the character was a bit more strict with the children and vain. Somewhere in between the two lies the stage version. Mary is definitely vain and fairly strict but she is also rather cheerful and more mysterious. Thankfully, she's not the only character that has been altered slightly. The children are slightly naughtier and the affection between Bert and Mary is more apparent. Story-wise, I found that these changes brought a breath of fresh air to the story so everyone, even those that have watched the movie a hundred times, could enjoy the musical.
It wasn't until today, while I was doing a bit of research for this review, that I realized how extraordinarily lucky we were to see this particular cast. Mary is played by Laura Michelle Kelly, who starred in the original London cast in 2004. Bert is played by Gavin Lee, also the original actor for Bert in the London cast. The two of them were absolutely amazing in their roles. (I was a bit partial to Bert though. He's hysterical.) If you get a chance to see these two perform, don't hesitate a single minute!
For the most part, Mary Poppins gets passed by for The Lion King. (I'll be talking about that one later!) In my opinion, this is a huge mistake. The show not only mixes both the book and movie very well but it also adds its own little flairs as well. One of these is the song "Practically Perfect" performed by Mary and the children. It showcases all of their talent while staying catchy at the same time. I really think that any fan of Mary would enjoy this show. I know I did!