PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The internationally acclaimed musical “Mary Poppins” arrived at the Academy of Music this past weekend.

It began as a series of children’s books, then became a Walt Disney movie starring Julie Andrews.

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Now it’s an elaborate theatre production that originated in London’s West End (where co-producer  Cameron Mackintosh banned attendance by children under the age of three) and went on to New York.

There’s no such restriction on children attending the production here in Philadelphia. The US tour has already played to about 1½ million people in 23 cities.

While there’s no question that “Mary Poppins” boasts an elaborately staged, tuneful panorama of toe-tapping songs, its musical and narrative achievements are really second to its technical wizardry.

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Danceable tunes and the energetic cast may not advance the storyline much, but “May Poppins” is still knockout theatre.

It’ll play the Academy of Music through April 17th.

Reviewed by Bob Nelson, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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