Friday, July 29, 2011

*I* still love you, Mary!

When the touring production of the Broadway version of Mary Poppins made its way to town this summer, I was excited to see it with friends. Ours was an adults-only outing, and we had a really good time. There were lots of kids in the audience, however, and most of them seemed to have fun, too. Most. We were a bit amused by the young boy who ended up sitting next to a friend of mine. He was less than enthralled.

“That’s it?” he kept whispering to his mother throughout the performance. “They just sing? That’s all they do? Sing?”

When the curtain dropped for intermission, he asked, “It’s over now, right? We can leave now, can’t we?”

I didn’t hear the rest of the conversation, so I don’t know what his reaction was when his mother explained to him that it was just intermission and it would be another good hour-and-a-half or so until the show was over. I can only assume he wasn’t too happy.

My friends and I were so mesmerized by the performance, we were at a loss as to how anyone could possibly be bored. Has anyone here seen it? It’s amazing!!! To answer the young man’s question, no, they don’t just sing. The sets, the dance numbers, the special effects—everything is larger than life and simply incredible. Here’s my favorite number:

I mean, how could anyone get bored watching that?! Bert actually tap dances on the ceiling! And his hat doesn’t even fall off when he’s hanging upside down from the rafters. That’s pretty magical in my opinion.

But apparently it wasn’t this young man’s cup of tea. Which makes me feel better about some of the rejection letters I’ve gotten. Let’s face it—you can put forth the mightiest effort in the world and some members of your audience will still fail to be impressed. Even if you tap dance on the ceiling.

So writers, take heart! Even Mary Poppins gets a thumbs down from time to time.

Have you had a young one in your life turn up their nose at a beloved movie or book?


  1. Funny, I just got the movie for my kids from the library. I'll have to see if they give it a thumbs up or down.

  2. My husband doesn't like kids' movies. I love them so much that he says I had a kid just so I had the excuse to buy a bunch of old classics like The Black Stallion and A Little Princess and The Secret Garden (I love the books too, of course). It's frustrating to me that we can't sit down and enjoy a good Pixar film. And it's always hard when someone doesn't like a book that I adore. I just don't get how they could possibly have missed the awesome-ness :)

  3. Funny story, Dawn. I can just imagine that boy suffering through the show. His poor mom probably spent a week's grocery money for the tickets only to find out the kid didn't like musicals. Yes, it does put rejections in perspective. Different strokes... You make me wish I'd gotten to see the show!

  4. That number was great. I'd love to see the show. My girl enjoyed a lot of the books that I liked at their age but one I loved that bored them to tears was 'Ballet Shoes' by Noel Streatfeild. Still one out of dozens isn't too bad :)

  5. First - thanks for covering for me, Dawn!

    Second - I love the Theater! My father was a stage manager for the Seattle Opera for years, and I used to be a stagehand myself. We even took the kids to tour the Opera House while on our vacation.

    Good times.

  6. I think it's a very worthwhile show, Rosi--if you're not an eight-year-old boy who hates musicals :)

    Matt--yes, theater's cool!! Funny how some kids can sit through and enjoy it, and some have a hard time...

    And thinking about kids turning up their noses at books, movies, etc., just reminded me of a lady I once met at a writer's conference. She spent a year writing a book for her young daughter. When she finally finished, she tried to read the first chapter out loud to her little darling, who refused to sit still. She wanted to go play outside, and when her mom told her she had to stay and listen to the story, she started to cry. Mom can laugh about it now, but I'm sure she was pretty heartbroken at the time. After all, she put in all that time and effort. Oh, those fickle kid audiences :)

  7. Rebecca, I hope your kids love Mary Poppins!! And if not, maybe at least one or two of the songs, lol.

    Sarah--I loved Ballet Shoes! But I've heard others say it's not too popular with their young ones these days. Maybe a little too old fashioned for them? Personally, I think the fabulous period feel of the book just adds to the story.

    And Jess--I'm a big fan of kiddie movies, too. I will even confess to getting excited about 3D. I feel like such a kid sometimes :)

  8. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you the Brilliant Writer Blog Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to and pick up your award.

  9. Thanks for the comment :) The show sounds great, I've only been to a few live shows in my life, but this one sounds good. As for brats thumbing their noses~ It doesn't happen with me so much with books as it does with music. But then again, I do like terrible music~


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!