As previously announced, Brown (Mary Poppins) and Lee (Bert) will reprise their roles for the upcoming North American tour of Poppins, which is scheduled to begin performances at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre March 11, 2009.
On Broadway the duo will be succeeded by Scarlett Strallen and Adam Fiorentino, who will both be making their Broadway debuts Oct. 9. Understudies will assume the roles of Mary and Bert Oct. 7 and 8.
Strallen and Fiorentino will join a cast that includes Daniel Jenkins (Mr. Banks), Rebecca Luker (Mrs. Banks), Jane Carr (Mrs. Brill), Ann Arvia (Bird Woman), Mark Price (Robertson Ay), Ruth Gottschall (Miss Andrew) and Jeff Steitzer (Admiral Boom).
Prior to Mary Poppins, Ashley Brown played Belle in the Broadway company of Beauty and the Beast and was also part of the cast of the tour of Disney's On the Record. Brown received her BFA in musical theatre from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She has appeared in productions of Candide, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Violet, Sweeney Todd, Meet Me in St. Louis, Guys and Dolls, Side by Side by Sondheim and Crazy for You. Brown is also the recipient of the Laurie Beechman Award.
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 marked his Broadway debut. Scarlett Strallen played Mary Poppins in the London production of the Disney/Cameron Mackintosh musical. She has also been seen in the West End in the original casts of Mamma Mia! and The Witches of Eastwick, and she received an Olivier nomination for her work as Josephine in HMS Pinafore.
Adam Fiorentino made his stage debut at 17 in the Australian tour of The Boy from Oz. He originated the role of Tony Manero in the Australian production of Saturday Night Fever and later reprised that part in the London cast.
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.
For more information visit www.marypoppins.com.