The kid and I are thankful for the invite from the North Carolina Blogger Network to attend Mary Poppins at the North Carolina Theatre. We had a great time, and appreciate the opportunity to provide our feedback. Our opinions are most certainly our own…
…and if you don’t think an eleven year old with autism can form and express his own opinions, well…you’d be surprised.
Even before we could get out to the car, he bubbled over with excitement.
“Here are my three favorite things about the show…” he started, showing me three fingers. But he was getting stuck on the words.
There are times when emotions literally choke him up.
#3: The first time the kids meet Mary Poppins
To be honest with you, I am not sure why this made his top 3 list. He talked about how nice she was, and I asked, “Did you like the ‘Practically Perfect’ song?”
“Yea. I really liked it.”
#2: The Fight
I won’t give away all the details, but there’s a fight on stage. And he just ate it up. A battle between good and evil, and he was so tickled when good won. He literally chortled – and I had to shush him a bit. So I wasn’t surprised that the fight was on his list.
And it was reiterated when later in the parking lot, he reenacted the scene, complete with the singing.
#1: One Word
Oh, come on…you know what word I’m talking about!
The performance is a bit different from the Disney movie. And I can tell he’s matured a bit in his consumption of different art by the same name, because I took him to a performance earlier in the year that he expected to be just like the movie – and he literally wanted to walk out of the show, he was so disappointed.
Expectations are everything.
But when your expectations are blown away?!
I can’t really answer for him. All I can tell you is that he is beyond himself when he talks about how the cast performed Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
And he’s just as enthusiastic about it in the first Act as he is the Second. I asked him to tell me which portion he liked better and his answer was an emphatic, “Both!”
Ah, this kid. He’s growing up so much this summer. And this experience carries with it its own plethora of examples of how he’s becoming his next self.
What’s on my Top 3 List?
#3: The stagecraft.
Which I didn’t even know was a word until I read it on the NC Theatre webpage, but it’s the perfect word because what else can you call it? Moments of such awesome coolness, that even I felt the wonder wash over me.
#2: The “Step in Time” Scene
Holy buckets!! The dancing. It was mesmerizing.
#1: Falling in Love All Over Again
It wasn’t exactly the same story. Or it was, but the details were a little different. I mean, it’s Mary Poppins. You’re never exactly sure what you’re going to get into, but it’s always as it should be. And I felt like I was falling in love with something new and familiar all at the same time.
There was a little more tenderness. A different kind of focus on the kids’ responsibility. And dear Bert, who plays such an important role in making the world a better place – and finally gets his reward. (NO SPOILERS THIS TIME!)
Photo Credit: Curtis Brown
What an adventure. For the both of us!
And just before we got to the car, the kid looks at me and says (in his sideways way), “Beauty and the Beast is going to be here too.”
“Yes, I saw it on the brochure,” I answered knowingly.
“So, that’s Matilda and Beauty and the Beast,” he answers delightfully.
“What is,” I asked pressing him for his point.
“You know. We can come see them both.” he looked across at me with expectation.
“Are you asking me if we can come see them? If so, please put your thoughts all together.” I answered with practiced patience.
“Can we please come see Matilda and Beauty and the Beast,” he asked politely.
“I will try to make it happen, my dear.” I reached out and brushed his cheek.
Gah. I love this kid.
The great thing is that I really think I can make that happen.
The North Carolina Theatre offers a mini package program. You can purchase tickets to four musicals from the 2016-2017 season, which starts in November. There are different price levels based on seating and dates/times. And it’s really affordable. Learn more.
I would really recommend that you try to make it to Mary Poppins (the show runs until Sunday, July 31), but if you can’t, maybe you can join us next year at Matilda and Beauty and the Beast.