BWW Exclusive: MARY POPPINS Cast Memories- Karl Kenzler
As the Broadway production of Mary Poppins comes to a close, we asked current and original principle cast members, as well as current cast members who have been with the show since day one, to share with us some memories and tell us what being a part of the magic has meant to them. Karl Kenzler, who is the current 'George Banks,' shared:
Performing with Dick Van Dyke during his cameo as Bank Chairman, Mr. Dawes. The original Disney movie holds a very special place in my heart because, I grew up hearing stories that my mom dated Bert from Mary Poppins. When she was a young girl, my mother went on a "date" with Dick Van Dyke. His family and her family were friends and one evening (to get the kids out of the house) they told Dick to take mom to a movie. Being four years older, he rightly assumed he was babysitting a friend of the family. But in mom's teenage mind it was a date. A date with an older boy.
In 2010, we were performing MARY POPPINS at the Ahmanson Theater in LA. Dick Van Dyke joined us one night to perform a cameo as "Mr. Dawes", the Bank Chairman from the Mary Poppins movie. Of course, I flew mom out to see the show. During rehearsal for Dick's appearance, I told him that mom was in the audience. I reminded him that he took her on her first date (without knowing it) and that she had a "terrible time" because he was sullen and unresponsive to her girlish charms. Dick laughed and said, "I feel terrible. Tell her to come round after the show and we'll catch a late screening someplace". Sure enough, after the performance, they met up (nearly sixty years after that first date) and caught up with a nice long chat.
MARY POPPINS means family. We say hello and goodbye a lot in the theater. Most jobs last, only a few months. So there is something very special about a long-running show. MARY POPPINS has lasted over six years. Personally I've spent more time with this show than I spent in high school, college or graduate school. Since MARY POPPINS opened I have celebrated my ten year wedding anniversary and had a beautiful baby daughter. Through it all I've had the pleasure of coming to work to tell a story that is about family.
Mary Poppins will conclude Broadway run at The New Amsterdam Theatre Sunday, March 3, 2013 after 2619 performances and more than six years. With attendance totaling nearly four million guests, the show has been seen by more people in the last six years than any Broadway show except Wicked and The Lion King. Mary Poppins opened on Broadway in 2006, just two years after debuting in London's West End, where it had received nine Olivier Award nominations and won Olivier, Evening Standard and WhatsOnStage Awards. The Broadway production received 25 major theatrical award nominations, winning Tony and Drama Desk Awards.
Mary Poppins will rank as the 22nd longest-running show in Broadway history by the time its run is complete, ranking between Best Musical winners Hairspray and Avenue Q on the list of long runs. For tickets, visit: http://www.marypoppins.com/tickets