Friday, January 7, 2011

In The Big City: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Yesterday can be summed up in one word, and one word only: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

My sister had gone to see the musical Mary Poppins in New York a few months ago, and when she told my niece Abbie about it, Abbie pleaded to go see it.  Kim promised her that if it ever came anywhere around where they lived, she would take Abbie to see it.  Yesterday, she made good on her promise.

When Kim found out Mary Poppins was going to be playing in Pittsburgh, she knew she would be taking Abbie, but she also invited Mom and me to attend.  It would not only be Abbie's first Broadway show, it would be Mom's as well, so it was going to be a special memory for them both.  It would be a fun girl's day out in the city.

Abbie was so excited, she made sure her outfit for the day included the Mary Poppins shirt Kim had gotten her. Not only was she stoked about the show, she was enchanted by being downtown.  You see, she too lives in a small town, so seeing a taxi cab, or going through a revolving door at the Westin were all so exciting for her.  It was really adorable to watch her drink in the beauty of Pittsburgh.  I could literally see her learning to love the city as much as I do.  We parked the car, and walked a few blocks to the theater.

We got our tickets, and found our seats.  We anxiously awaited the show.  And then.... magic.

Magic can only account for what happened over the next 2.5 hours.  You see, the audience was filled, literally filled with children, ranging in age from about 2 to teenagers, and yet not a peep was heard.  Only one cry happened, during some lightning in a scene.  Other than that, no fussing, no whimpering.  The kids were enchanted, and frankly, so was I.

This is not your ordinary musical.  Most modern musicals are simply people walking around singing mediocre songs and sashaying a little.  Not this, oh no.  This was a right proper Rogers and Hammerstein style good old fashioned Broadway show.  One of the dance numbers, with the chimney sweeps, reminded me a bit of West Side Story even.  In my opinion, this show is a classic in the making.

From a theatrical perspective, this show was amazing, the staging is unlike anything I have ever seen, and I have seen some amazing shows in the past.  But this was just breathtaking.  There were bursts of color, and movement.  The singing was superb, and I loved the pint sized actors playing the Banks children.  And let me tell you, when Mary Poppins flew over my head (oh yeah, she totally flew about 10 feet from me, how awesome) I felt like a kid.  I fought back tears through the entire show, it was that incredible.

At the end of the show, when the actors come out for their curtain calls, they do a little bit from the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious number, and one of the actor's really caught my eye.  It was an actor on the far left, who played a stodgy old banker, yet here he was, singing a song about a silly word, doing ridiculous hand gestures, and full of joy.  That is what this show does to you.  It fills you with joy.  I am telling you, this show is magic.

I am so thankful that I got to share in this special day with these wonderful women in my life, who I love so much.  And I am so thankful I got to experience the magic of Mary Poppins.