Mary Poppins to Arrive at New Amsterdam Oct. 14, 2006; Lion King to Move to Minskoff

By Robert Simonson
10 Nov 2005

Disney Theatrical Productions will move its biggest hit on Broadway, The Lion King, to the Minskoff to make room for the Oct. 14, 2006, arrival of the London hit Mary Poppins.



As in London, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh will combine forces to produce the musical, which is based on the legendary 1964 Walt Disney film.

The Lion King, which has been at the New Amsterdam since it opened in fall 1997, will leave the theatre June 4, 2006, and begin performances in the Minskoff on June 13, giving Poppins plenty of time to move into its 42nd Street home. The latter will open on Nov. 16.

The Lion King move will follow the completion of "custom renovations to accommodate the... production" at the Minskoff.

Poppins is currently playing in London at the Prince Edward Theatre.

This is not the first time Disney has shuffled a running property in order to make room for a new show. In 1999, it shifted Beauty and the Beast from the Palace to the Lunt-Fontanne in order to place Aida in the Palace.

Mary Poppins will be only the third production to inhabit the New Amsterdam since Disney restored the 102-year-old theatre, following The Lion King and an earlier limited run of Alan Menken and Tim Rice's King David.

  Mary Poppins features original songs from the film, with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The new stage production also features new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Julian Fellowes wrote the book.

Richard Eyre directs and Matthew Bourne provides co-direction and choreography.   The musical will feature set and costume design is by Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and musical supervision by David Caddick.

  No casting has been announced. In London, the title role was created by Laura Michelle Kelly, seen in New York in Fiddler on the Roof.