'Mary Poppins' Magical Musical Comes To Broward Center Starting June 9

OASFKA_20010101

MARY POPPINS

FORT LAUDERDALE'S LIMITED PREMIERE ENGAGEMENT BEGINS
JUNE 9 AT BROWARD CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

(Photo by Joan Marcus)

Producers CameRon Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher announced full casting for the Fort Lauderdale engagement of MARY POPPINS. Fort Lauderdale's most eagerly anticipated stage production will begin performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, June 9th for a limited engagement of 3 weeks through Sunday, June 27th. The opening night is Friday, June 11 at 8:00pm.

The entire original creative team has reunited to bring this magical story of the world's most famous nanny to audiences around North America. Since the tour's launch in Chicago in March 2009, MARY POPPINS has earned continuous critical praise and box-office success.

Original UK Tour star Caroline Sheen will reprise her role as "Mary Poppins" while original London and Broadway star Gavin Lee will assume the role of "Bert."

Caroline Sheen makes her U.S. stage debut in the North American Tour after earning rave reviews from the UK press including The Herald (Plymouth, UK) who called her, "the perfect embodiment of the outwardly prim nanny with the free-thinking mind." Sheen, who was born in Wales, has appeared on stage in a wide variety of other leading roles in the West End and UK including The Light in the Piazza, Once in a Lifetime, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Grease, Les Miserables, The Witches of Eastwick and Mamma Mia!

Gavin Lee made his Broadway debut with MARY POPPINS after originating the role of "Bert" in the world premiere production in London's West End. Lee received critical acclaim for his portrayal of "Bert," both in NY and London, and was the recipient of the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor. Lee also received Tony, Outer Critic Circle and Olivier Award nominations for Best Actor. His London theatre credits include Peggy Sue Got Married, Contact, Oklahoma!, Sondheim's Saturday Night, Crazy For You, and Me and My Girl. In addition, he has appeared in the recent film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera and Beyond The Sea.

Joining Sheen and Lee will be Laird Mackintosh as "George Banks." Mr. Mackintosh has performed several leading roles in Canada including The Drowsy Chaperone, White Christmas, Arcadia and Phantom of the Opera. "Winifred Banks" will be played by Blythe Wilson who joins the production after appearing on stage in The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia!, Oklahoma, and Three Penny Opera.

Rachel Izen will portray "Mrs. Brill." Ms. Izen is making her North American Tour debut having appeared in numerous London West End productions including A Chorus Line, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Singin' in the Rain, Beauty and the Beast, Annie and Thoroughly Modern Mille. Dennis Moench, who will play "Robertson Ay," was recently seen in the Broadway production of MARY POPPINS and has also appeared in the All Shook Up National Tour and Off-Broadway in Altar Boyz and Fame.

Ellen Harvey will play "Miss Andrew." MS. Harvey's Broadway credits include The Music Man and Thou Shalt Not and she has appeared in the National Tours of Disney's High School Musical, Mamma Mia, Doctor Dolittle, and Sunset Boulevard. "The Bird Woman" will be played by Mary VanArsdel, who has appeared in productions of Cole Porter's Paris, Mass, Camelot (with Jeremy Irons), 110 In the Shade, and Gypsy. "Admiral Boom" will be portrayed by Mike O'Carroll, a stage veteran whose past credits include White Christmas, Fiddler on the Roof, Showboat, Will Rogers Follies, Henry IV, Inherit the Wind, and Ragtime.

Performances in the role of "Jane Banks" will be alternated between Katie Balen and Bailey Grey. Ms. Balen is making her national tour debut with "Mary Poppins" and has recently been seen in regional productions of "Oklahoma!," "Grease" and "Willie Wonka." Ms. Grey is also making her national tour debut with "Mary Poppins" and her previous stage credits include roles in "Seussical" and "A Christmas Carol." Performances in the role of "Michael Banks" will be alternated between Bryce Baldwin and Carter Thomas. Mr. Baldwin is making his national tour debut with "Mary Poppins" and has previously appeared in the stage productions of "A Christmas Carol," "Richard III," "The Music Man" and "The Will Rogers Follies." Mr. Thomas has recently appeared in the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" with The Rockettes, "Oliver," "South Pacific," "Peter Pan" and "A Christmas Carol."

Rounding out the cast are Tia Altinay, Carol Angeli, Jacob ben Widmar, Gail Bennett, Kiara Bennett, Troy Edward Bowles, Elizabeth Broadhurst, Jonathan Brody, Kate Chapman, Elizabeth Earley, Michael Gerhart, Geoffrey Goldberg, Emily Harvey, Tiffany Howard, Kelly Jacobs, Sam Kiernan, Brian Letendre, Vanessa McMahan, Koh Mochizuki, Shua Potter, Dominic Roberts, Nick Sanchez, Q. Smith, Jesse Swimm and Tom Souhrada.

MARY POPPINS, a co-production of Disney and CameRon Mackintosh, opened on Broadway on November 16, 2006. Based on P.L. Travers' cherished stories and the classic 1964 Walt Disney film, MARY POPPINS the stage play features the Academy Award®-winning music and lyrics of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The stage production has been created, in collaboration with CameRon Mackintosh, by Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who has written the book, and the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who have composed new songs and additional music and lyrics.

Olivier Award-winning director Richard Eyre leads the award-winning creative team, with co-direction and choreography by Tony® and Olivier Award winner Matthew Bourne. MARY POPPINS features set and costume design by Tony Award winner Bob Crowley, co-choreography by Olivier Award winner Stephen Mear, lighting design by Howard Harrison, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and music supervision by David Caddick. The tour's creative team includes Tour Director Anthony Lyn, Associate Choreographer Geoffrey Garrett, and Music Director James Dodgson.

In Fort Lauderdale, MARY POPPINS will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sunday evenings at 6:30pm. Matinee performances are all Saturdays, Thursday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 23 at 2:00pm and all Sundays at 1:00pm. Ticket prices start as low as $26.25. Special VIP Ticket Packages are available at select performances, and include premium seating and a complimentary souvenir program. Tickets are available at the Broward Center Box Office Monday through Friday 10AM - 5 PM, Saturday and Sunday 12 Noon - 5 PM and 1 ½ hours prior to show times; or on-line at www.broadwayacrossamerica.com; www.browardcenter.org; via phones (954) 462-0222 or 800-982-2787. Groups of 20 or more are invited to call 800-647-6877 or (954) 462-0222.

The Fort Lauderdale engagement of MARY POPPINS Is presented by Broadway Across America in association with Florida Theatrical Association and is a subscription offering of the Broadway Across America, Fort Lauderdale Series.

For more information, please visit www.MaryPoppins.com.

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Beau Higgins Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and at HB Studios. He studied theater singing with Julia Sperratore and Helen Gallagher. Beau later taught drama at the Lincoln Center Square for the Arts. It was at this time Beau began working with the Theater Development Fund and helped found New York's famed HALF PRICE TICKET BOOTH. Early in his career, Beau was screen tested and contracted for Warner Brothers. He co-hosted, an early cable variety series on Manhattan's Teleprompter channel. At this time he directed the Johnny Specca musical, SEX IS..? at the Lincoln Center Library Theater. Beau has performed Off-Broadway in FAT FELL DOWN, The Comic Strip Theater's LITTLE LULU AND THE INVISIBLE INK and WILL THE REAL ZOOPERMAN PLEASE STAND UP. Around the country he has delighted audiences with his performances in ANYTHING GOES, THE APPLE TREE, GUYS & DOLLS, and HELLZAPOPPIN! He sang for New York audiences at such cabarets as The Duplex and Upstairs at the Downstairs. He has had numerous television appearances but is most proud to have been a winning contestant on the game shows JACKPOT and THE $20,000 PYRAMID.


 
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