Laura Michelle Kelly and Christian Borle Sweep Into Mary Poppins Oct. 12

By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
12 Oct 2009

Laura Michelle Kelly and Christian Borle
Laura Michelle Kelly and Christian Borle
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Broadway's new "practically perfect" nanny in Mary Poppins is the show's original London star, Olivier Award winner Laura Michelle Kelly, who flies into the New Amsterdam Theatre Oct. 12.

Also joining the cast on Oct. 12 (playing chimney sweep Bert) is Tony Award nominee Christian Borle (of Broadway's Legally Blonde).

Scarlett Strallen (Mary) and Adam Fiorentino (Bert) played their final performances Oct. 11.

Kelly and Borle are joined by new cast members Jeff Binder (Zazu in The Lion King) as Mr. Banks, Jenny Galloway (reprising her role from the West End production) as Mrs. Brill and Michael McCarty as Admiral Boom, returning to the role he created on Broadway.

With the recent rehearsals for the new cast came another addition to the production: a new song. Anthony Drewe and George Stiles penned the fresh number, "Playing the Game," which replaces "Temper, Temper," in the nursery of Jane and Michael Banks. The song was introduced in North America in the March 2009 launch of the Mary Poppins national tour.

Rebecca Luker continues to star as Mrs. Banks alongside Ann Arvia as Bird Woman, Mark Price as Robertson Ay and Ruth Gottschall as Miss Andrew.

Produced by Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical Productions and Cameron Mackintosh, Mary Poppins will celebrate its three-year anniversary at the New Amsterdam Theatre on West 42nd Street on Nov. 16.

Kelly returns to Broadway after earning rave reviews and garnering the Olivier Award for her performance as the original Mary Poppins in the 2004 West End premiere of the show (she played the role for more than 400 performances in the U.K. until October 2005). Kelly made her Broadway debut as one of Tevye's daughters in the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof with Alfred Molina. She made her feature film debut as Lucy Barker opposite Johnny Depp in the musical "Sweeney Todd," directed by Tim Burton (2007). Last year, Kelly starred opposite Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in the Old Vic's acclaimed production of Speed-the-Plow. Other West End credits include Eliza in My Fair Lady, Galadrial in Lord of the Rings, Sophie in Mamma Mia!, Swallow in Whistle Down the Wind, Eponine in Les Miserables, Wendy in Peter Pan and an "enchanted object" in Disney's Beauty and the Beast at age 17. Kelly appears with the permission of Actors' Equity Association (AEA).

Borle earned Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League nominations for his performance as Emmett Forrest in the Broadway premiere of Legally Blonde. In 2005, he earned a Drama Desk nomination for his performance as Prince Herbert in Monty Python's Spamalot. Earlier this year, Borle appeared in a workshop production of Peter and the Starcatchers, part of the La Jolla Playhouse Page To Stage program, by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions. Borle made his Broadway debut in Footloose (1999) and stepped into the role of Jimmy in the Tony Award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (2003).

For tickets and more information, visit, the New Amsterdam Theatre Box Office (214 West 42nd Street) and all Ticketmaster outlets, or call (866) 870-2717.