Lee, who created the role of Bert in the London and subsequent Broadway productions of Mary Poppins, will play the chimney sweep for audiences in the North American national tour.
The tour of Mary Poppins is scheduled to kick off March 11, 2009, at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. The musical based on both the original stories by P. L. Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film has also been announced for The State Theatre in Cleveland, The Fox Theatre in St. Louis and The Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.
Additional cities, venues and casting will be announced at a later date.
Gavin Lee created the role of Bert for the London production of Mary Poppins, receiving an Olivier Award nomination for his performance; he was Tony-nominated for his Broadway work. His London theatre credits also include Peggy Sue Got Married, Contact, Oklahoma!, Saturday Night, Crazy for You and Me and My Girl. He was also seen in the films "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Beyond the Sea." Mary Poppins marks his Broadway debut.
Richard Eyre directs Mary Poppins, which features choreography and co-direction by Matthew Bourne and boasts original songs from the film — with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman — as well as new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Julian Fellowes wrote the book. The musical also features set and costume design by Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and Steve C. Kennedy, orchestrations by William David Brohn, musical direction by Brad Haak and musical supervision by David Caddick.
Mary Poppins continues to play Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre.
For more information visit www.marypoppins.com.