Broadway Mary Poppins Recoups; North American Tour to Launch in 2009

News   Broadway Mary Poppins Recoups; North American Tour to Launch in 2009
Following the news that the Broadway production of Mary Poppins has recouped its entire original investment in 52 weeks comes word that the national tour of the Disney-Cameron Mackintosh musical will kick off in 2009 in Chicago.

Ashley Brown in the Tony-nominated Best Musical Mary Poppins
Ashley Brown in the Tony-nominated Best Musical Mary Poppins Photo by Joan Marcus

Broadway In Chicago and Mary Poppins producers Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher announced Dec. 5 that the family-friendly musical will launch its national tour March 25, 2009, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago, IL.

The entire original creative team — including co-director Richard Eyre and co-director/choreographer Matthew Bourne — will reunite for the upcoming tour.

Casting and additional tour stops will be announced at a later date.

In a statement producer Schumacher said, "We are overwhelmed by the outstanding success of Mary Poppins. The audience response to this timeless tale has been tremendous and we are honored to have the opportunity to premiere the next steps of this phenomenal show in Chicago." Producer Mackintosh added, "Having dreamt of doing Mary Poppins on stage for over 30 years, I am extremely pleased that the stage version has been equally enjoyed by devotees of the film and books and now Mary is about to share her magic with audiences all over the world."

Richard Eyre directed the London and subsequent Broadway production of Mary Poppins, which is based on P.L. Travers' original stories and the 1964 Disney film. The musical 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 features set and costume design by Tony winner Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Olivier winner Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison, orchestrations by William David Brohn and music supervision by David Caddick.

The musical began previews at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre Oct. 14, 2006 and officially opened Nov. 16, 2006. Ashley Brown stars as Mary Poppins, the role immortalized on screen by Academy Award winner Julie Andrews. Gavin Lee, who starred as Bert in the London production, re-created his work opposite Brown.

The Cadillac Palace Theatre is located at 151 W. Randolph Street in Chicago, IL. Tickets for the Chicago run of Mary Poppins are only currently available for groups of 20 or more by calling (312) 977-1710.

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