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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Jen & Jode's Big Adventures: Mary Poppins

My friend Jen and I get up to mischief occasionally. We do. 

We're like Gwyneth and Madonna, Oprah and Gale (without the rumours, thankyouverymuch), Paris and Nicole. Wait. No, I don't think we're anything like Paris and Nicole actually. (Thank goodness for that.)

Hubby, however, likes to refer to us as Jen and Jode. As in, Kath and Kim. Okay, then...

In any case, we get out and about together, and last night was a goodie.

I was very fortunate to receive an invitation to see Mary Poppins at the Sydney Premiere Capitol Theatre and with a plus one...Jen got herself an invitation too. (You might wonder why I didn't ask Hubby. Well, to be honest, Hubby doesn't get musicals. He always asks, "Where's the music coming from, hey? I don't get it. One minute they're walking around, next thing, music comes on and they're singing." He's a realist, people.)

Jen and Jode...just minutes before the show began.

Anyway, Hubby missed out BIG time, because the show was one of the most flawless, fabulous, visually amazing productions (the sets were incredible) I've ever seen. Seriously, from start to finish, your eyes just want to take in everything. There is so much colour, movement, energy...I can't believe the cast do this so many times a week.  You'd never know it, because it's fresh from start to finish.

And the cast...BRILLIANT.

Verity Hunt-Ballard plays the lead role of Mary Poppins. Now of course, with everyone's mind on Julie Andrews making the role so famous, you can imagine there's going to be a few comparisons made. Jen and I were unanimous on this: she was fantastic. Brilliant. She brought such a fun cheekiness to the role. Her singing was amazing, and her timing perfect. I know I sound like I'm gushing...but I don't care.

Verity in her role as Mary Poppins
I predict BIG things for this gal. Huge.

She was also lovely to meet in real life.

Doesn't she look so different out of character? Gorgeous in both.

Yup. Jen and I, as well as a bunch of other bloggers, got to have a drink with some of the cast after the show. Then we made them stand around chatting to us before wrestling them in to a photo. Actually, they were very obliging. Jen and I felt sorry for them, to be honest. Like the last  thing you'd feel like doing after you've been jumping around singing and dancing for couple of hours is to go rub shoulders with people you don't know! (BTW - In my usual, confused fashion, I was telling all the bloggers the room we had to meet in after the show was called "The Drake". It was, in actual fact, "The Peacock" room. Still...I was almost there. They are both birds.)

A bit of a crowd favourite was the gorgeous, Matt Lee who played the role of Bert. Man, can he sing and dance. When he launched in to a tap routine in the second half of the show, girls were screaming. Seriously. They LOVE him. Of course, you may know him from the tv show, So You Think You Can Dance - which he tells me is not being produced this year. Whaaaat?! What's up with that Channel 10??!!!

The guy's bio in the program is so long. He has done so much. One can only image what he can achieve for hereon. He was magnificent in the role of Bert. He has such energy and charisma. (Ok I'm gushing again!!! Bite me.)

Impressive, huh?

And here's me cosying up to Matt. Seriously...could I have gotten any closer?! (We do match beautifully  in our black and white though, don't you think?)

My hair is not on fire. That's a light, people.

Bit of a funny story with this shot. Jen was snapping away, but she kept getting blurred shots. Finally, she got this one...which is not 100% clear, but I kinda like it because it hides a few wrinkles. ;) Then I was taking pics of her and Matt and having the same problem. Then I finally realised what the problem was: I didn't have the flash turned on. (You should have seen some of the other bloggers with their fancy cameras. Impressive. I was a total amateur with my tiny little Canon point and shoot with the flash turned off.)

So Matt's smile no doubt hides a bit of, 'Will you hurry up and TAKE THE PICTURE ALREADY!!'

All of the cast were amazing. Philip Quast was fabulous as George Banks. Marina Prior plays the role of Winifred Banks, but was MIA last night. However, the girl who moved in to the role was incredibly good - I think it was Sarah Bakker. Fab voice.

Judi Connelli played Miss Andrew, Debra Byrne played Bird Woman, Sally-Anne Upton was fantastic as Mrs Brill. David Henry was Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman and Christopher Rickerby played Robertson Ay - he was hilarious!

Truly amazing were the children who played Jane Banks and Michael Banks. The role is actually shared between five boys and five girls who alternate night/day performances (although they always have another set of kids out the back in case something happens mid-performance). The girl who played Jane last night was Lexie Duncan (a Year 6 student at a local public school to me), and Michael Banks was played by Cameron Holmes. (I'm pretty sure I've got that right!) I can't tell you how impressive these kids were. They took on singing, dancing, acting AND an accent. Their timing was brilliant.

One of the first cast members Jen and I chatted to was Troy Sussman who plays a character called Von Hussler. He was so nice, terribly informative and just fun to chat with. All the cast were great. Jen and I got the impression they were a tight bunch who really enjoy working together on the show.

Here are some shots from the show (not mine - I had the dud camera, remember?):

Mary Poppins makes statues come to life. She's so clever.

The sets were amazing, too. 

The performance of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was a stand out!

Here's a little on video of what you can expect from the show:

I think the kids would be so amazed to see it. Mary Poppins is on for a limited time only, so if you want to grab some tickets, you can call Ticketek on 1300 558 878 or visit www.marypoppinsthemusical.com.au for more info.

You won't regret it.

Thanks to Julie for the invitation and for arranging a top night, and to all the cast for being such good sports afterwards.

I hope to bring you more Jen and Jode adventures soon...!


Kellie said...

Looks like you had a fabulous time!
I think though if I were planning to go, I might have to watch the original movie first. Never seen it, but I've heard its great!


Corinne – Daze of My Life said...

Oh wasn't it great?! I was there too, but took my daughter so skipped the post-show drinks. WE both loved it!

Jodie Ansted said...

Corinne - I'm so sorry I missed you! Would have loved a chat.

It was just sensational. I think the 7yo in particular would love it. ;) xx

Thea said...

Love this post.
You lucky duck!!!

PS Love the pic of you and Matt! :)

River said...

Well now you've gone and done it! I have to drag out my dvd copy and watch Mary Poppins. Right now.

Jodie Ansted said...

Well, thank you dear Thea! I love that pic too. Jen is a good photographer. I think I might make her my official one, and take her everywhere with me. ;)

River - LOL! Enjoy it. I kinda feel like watching it too!

cat said...

That looks like a fabulous girls night out.

whatsinemmasbrain said...

Great to see you Jodie! What a night! x

3pmPimms said...

I am happy to take on the roll of Jodie's official Photographer!!! I will get some practice in for the next big adventure!!!!! Thanks again for a lovely night!!! J

Rah said...

*sigh* how beautiful is Verity?

Was lovely to meet you both! :)