Mary Poppins Arrives on Broadway Oct 2006, Lion King Moves to Minskoff June 2006

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President of Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher and legendary producer Cameron Mackintosh are pleased to announce that the hit production of MARY POPPINS, based on the stories by P.L. Travers and the 1964 Walt Disney film will begin performance on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre (Broadway at West 42nd Street) Saturday, October 14, 2006 for a Thursday, November 16, 2006 opening. MARY POPPINS will continue its record-breaking run at the Prince Edward Theatre in London's West End.

Disney's THE LION KING will move in its entirety, including all 52-cast members and the entire 24-member orchestra, from the New Amsterdam Theatre on June 4, 2006 and begin performances nine days later at its new home the Minskoff Theatre (Broadway at West 45th Street) on June 13, 2006. The move will follow the completion of custom renovations to accommodate the Tony Awardâ-winning production.

"We are delighted to be able to bring MARY POPPINS to Broadway and continue our successful partnership with Cameron Mackintosh. After the enormous success of the show in London, I'm looking forward to these two great production companies working together for years to come," Thomas Schumacher said. "I'm happy that the New Amsterdam will be the venue where Broadway will be introduced to the residents of 17 Cherry Tree Lane, and I am eager to see THE LION KING play its first performance at its new home: the Minskoff Theatre. The refurbishing that is being planned by the Nederlander Organization will wonderfully complement Julie Taymor's work and will make an ideal home for the production."

"My first introduction to MARY POPPINS was over 40 years ago when I first saw Walt Disney's magical film and with this announcement, I am delighted to continue my hugely pleasurable collaboration with Tom Schumacher," Cameron Mackintosh said. "Putting Pamela Travers' stories on stage has been the most terrific and exhilarating time and I'm looking forward to bringing this glorious production to America. Just as MARY POPPINS opened in London at my newly restored Prince Edward Theater, it is serendipitous that the show will open on Broadway at Disney's stunning New Amsterdam Theatre

"This isn't the first time that I have agreed to refurbish a theatre for Disney and THE LION KING," said James M. Nederlander. "We completely renovated the Pantages in Los Angeles to host THE LION KING there, so when Tom Schumacher and the folks at Disney came to me about the Minskoff, I couldn't say no. With the Richard Rodgers for Tarzan, the Palace for Aida, the Lunt-Fontanne for Beauty and The Beast, and now with the Minskoff for THE LION KING, we are happy to call Tom and Disney our partners as well as our friends."

MARY POPPINS features many of the original songs from the film, with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who won two Oscarsâ for the film Mary Poppins. The new stage production features new songs and additional music and lyrics by Olivierâ Award-winners George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The production has been created in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh.

Director Richard Eyre leads the award-winning creative team assembled for MARY POPPINS with co-direction and choreography by Olivierâ Award winner Matthew Bourne. MARY POPPINS features a book by Oscarâ-winner Julian Fellowes, set and costume design is by Tony Awardâ winner Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Olivierâ Award winner Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and musical supervision by David Caddick.

It took Walt Disney twenty years to make the film of MARY POPPINS, from the time he first tried to secure the film rights to its triumphant premiere in 1964. The film was an immediate and phenomenal success, earning universal acclaim. The film played to an estimated 200 million people when it was released, engendering extraordinary affection in its audiences, and has remained one of Disney's most enduring and best-loved films.

MARY POPPINS creator Pamela Lyndon (P.L.) Travers was born Helen Lyndon Goff in Australia on August 9, 1899. While touring as a theatre actress, Pamela began publishing poems, articles, and stories; which led to a career in journalism. It was in 1934, while living in England, that she wrote the first of six books featuring Mary Poppins. When publishing, Pamela used only her initials, hiding her gender to avoid being dismissed as an archetypal female author of children's books. Travers wrote a number of other adult books, including The Fox at the Manger, Friend Monkey, and About the Sleeping Beauty. Pamela Travers passed away on April 23, 1996.

Casting and additional information for MARY POPPINS on Broadway will be announced at a future date.

Since opening on Broadway in 1997, THE LION KING is the winner of over 70 major awards worldwide and has become a global phenomenon seen by more than 33 million people and a total of nine productions currently running worldwide: New York, London, Tokyo, Melbourne, Nagoya (Japan), Hamburg, Scheveningen (The Netherlands), and two U.S. national tours. THE LION KING began performances at the New Amsterdam Theatre on October 15, 1997 and opened on Thursday, November 13, 1997.

Tickets for THE LION KING are available at the New Amsterdam Theatre Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4747. Prices range from $40-$100. For group sales information please call (800) 439-9000.

There are currently 14 productions worldwide of Disney Theatrical Productions' hit musicals Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida, and Mary Poppins, in partnership with Cameron Mackintosh. Those productions have, collectively been seen by over 68 million people worldwide. Disney's Beauty and the Beast, is currently the sixth-longest running show in Broadway history at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida can currently be seen in Seoul, South Korea with an upcoming production to open later this month in Munich, Germany. In New York, Aida received four 2000 Tony Awardsâ and a 2000 GRAMMYâ for Best Musical Show Album. Disney's latest musical TARZANâ, featuring the music of Phil Collins and direction by Bob Crowley will have its world premiere at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre in May 2006.

Cameron Mackintosh produced his first musical 35 years ago and since then has produced hundreds of productions all over the world including Cats, Les Miserables, and The Phantom of the Opera , the three longest running musicals in Broadway history, Miss Saigon, Little Shop of Horrors, Side By Side By Sondheim, Follies, Martin Guerre, The Witches of Eastwick, and acclaimed revivals of My Fair Lady, Oliver! and Oklahoma! For the last 25 years it has been Cameron's long-standing ambition to produce a stage musical of Mary Poppins and he was delighted to bring this to fruition with Disney in December 2004. He owns seven theatres in London's West End – the Prince of Wales, Gielgud, Queens, Wyndhams, Albery, Novello and the Prince Edward that is now home to Mary Poppins. In 1995 his company received The Queen's Award for Export Achievement and he was knighted in the 1996 New Year's Honours for his services to British Theatre. He is President of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and in 1990 he endowed the Chair of Contemporary Theatre at St Catherine's College, Oxford where he is also an Honorary Fellow and Member of the Court of Benefactors.

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