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This week in theater: 'Mary Poppins' pops into Twin Cities for 6-day engagement

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The touring Broadway production of "Mary Poppins" is coming Minneapolis this week for what promises to be a "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" six-day, eight-show engagement that runs Tuesday through Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre.

Based on the 1964 classic Disney film, the new stage musical version opened in 2006 on Broadway and features new songs in addition to such classics as "Chim Chim Cher-ee," "A Spoonful of Sugar" and that other song with the super-long title.

Fox 4 Kansas City theater critic Russ Simmons gave the production a mixed review during the show's stop in Missouri earlier this month. On the plus side, Simmons said the musical's songs and strong dance numbers "should please most audience members," and Poppins star Madeline Trumble "possesses an unusually wobbly tremolo that wavers well above and below the notes."

Naturally, Simmons compared the stage version to the original film version starring Julie Andrews, saying while the "film possessed a seamless flow, this version never quite hits its stride and has an odd, herky-jerky pace. It’s a step out of time."

Knoxville.com's Amy McRary also noted that the show's a crowd pleaser, but criticized Trumble's voice as "shrill" at times and the children with British accents hard to understand. She even described one production number as "dark and creepy."

To go along with the staging of "Mary Poppins" in Minneapolis, the Orpheum is hosting a free "Broadway Confidential" event Monday, which goes behind the making of the musical; and a "Mary Poppins Pop-Up Kite Park" Saturday outside the theater. The event, where children will be shown how to build their own kites, is $5 per participant.

See a preview of "Mary Poppins" below.

Meanwhile, “Broadway Songbook: The Words and Music of Cole Porter” continues its run at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul this week and ends it run on Sunday . The show features such Porter hits as “You’re The Top,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “So In Love,” “Another Opening, Another Show,” “Night and Day” and “True Love.”

Also continuing this week is the ice fishing comedy “Nice Fish” at the Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Proscenium Stage in Minneapolis.

The production runs through May 18.

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