Kennedy Center Presents MARY POPPINS, Previews 7/1

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Kennedy Center Presents MARY POPPINS, Previews 7/1

Producers CameRon Mackintosh, Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical Productions and the Kennedy Center are pleased to announce full casting for the Washington, DC engagement of Mary Poppins. The musical will begin performances in the Kennedy Center Opera House on July 1, 2010 for a limited engagement of eight weeks through August 22, 2010. The press opening night is Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

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. 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! Sheen is appearing with the support of Actors' Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

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 Tonyâ, Outer Critics Circle, and Olivier Award nominations for Best Actor. His London theater 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 Kelsey Fowler and Bailey Grey. Ms. Fowler is returning to the Mary Poppins family after previously appearing in both the tour and Broadway productions. Other Broadway credits include Grey Gardens and Sunday in the Park with George. Ms. Grey is making her national tour debut with Mary Poppins and her previous stage credits include roles in Seussical and A Christmas Carol. Performers 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, Debra Cardona, Elizabeth Earley, Michael Gerhart, Geoffrey Goldberg, Emily Harvey, Eric Hatch, Tiffany Howard, Kelly Jacobs, Sam Kiernan, Brian Letendre, 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 TonyÒ 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.
ABOUT MARY POPPINS WORLDWIDE

Mary Poppins is one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge from London or New York in recent years. Worldwide to date, Mary Poppins has grossed over $392 million and has welcomed over 5.3 million guests.

Consistently among Broadway's top-grossing shows, Mary Poppins has played over 1400 performances since its official opening on November 16, 2006. Now in its fourth smash year at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York, the Broadway production has been seen by over two million theatergoers and grossed over $170 million to date, recouping its initial investment within 52 weeks of its premiere.

Not only do the Broadway show and the North American tour draw huge audiences, but the show's popularity also reaches around the globe. Mary Poppins will premiere two major international productions in 2010: an open-ended run began April 11 at the Circus Theatre in Scheveningen, Holland, outside of Amsterdam (presented by Stage Entertainment in association with Disney and CameRon Mackintosh) and an Australian production opens July 29 at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne. Additionally, during 2010 Mary Poppins opens in Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Hungary, with plans already underway for future productions in Israel, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Korea, Canada and Japan. Following a successful three-year run in 2008 at the Prince Edward Theatre in London's West End, a U.K. tour of Mary Poppins commenced in summer 2008 and concluded its acclaimed run in Cardiff, Wales in April 2009.

The Mary Poppins North American Tour celebrated its first anniversary on March 25, 2010 and announced that it had achieved the milestone of being the most successful touring theatrical event in 2009. Original UK touring company star, Caroline Sheen, reprises her role as Mary Poppins while original London and Broadway star, Gavin Lee, stars as Bert.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE THROUGH JULY 2011

CITY/VENUE Performance Dates

Tampa - Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center May 20 - June 6, 2010

Ft. Lauderdale - Broward Center for the Performing Arts June 9 - 27, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Kennedy Center Opera House July 1 - Aug 22, 2010

Charlotte - Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Aug 25 - Sept 12, 2010

Indianapolis - Murat Theatre Sept 23 - Oct 10, 2010

Buffalo - Shea's Performing Arts Center October 14 - 31, 2010
East Lansing - Wharton Center for Performing Arts November 3 - 21, 2010

Des Moines - Civic Center of Greater Des Moines Nov 26 - Dec 12, 2010

Detroit - Opera House Dec 16, 2010 - Jan 2, 2011

Pittsburgh - Benedum Center Jan 5 - 23, 2011

Omaha - Orpheum Theatre Jan 27 - Feb 13, 2011

Boston - Opera House Feb 17 - March 20, 2011
Philadelphia - Academy of Music March 23 - April 17, 2011

Columbus - Ohio Theatre April 20 - May 8, 2011
Seattle - Paramount Theatre May 12 - 29, 2011

Sacramento - Community Center Theatre June 2 - 19, 2011

Portland - Keller Auditorium June 22 - July 10, 2011
Costa Mesa - Orange County Performing Arts Center July 14 - 31, 2011

For more information, please visit MaryPoppins.com

TICKET INFORMATION

Performances of Mary Poppins runs July 1, 2010 to August 22, 2010 in the Kennedy Center Opera House evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 1:30 p.m. There will be a matinee performance on Wednesday, August 18, 2010. There will be no evening performance on Sunday, July 4 and Sunday, August 22. Ticket prices start as low as $25 and can be purchased at the Kennedy Center Box Office, by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600, or online at kennedy-center.org. Orders for groups of 20 or more may be placed by calling (202) 416-8400. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may also dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324.

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