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BWW Exclusive: Jenny Powers and Rob McClure to Star in The Muny's MARY POPPINS!

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The Muny announced principal casting for the sixth show of its fantastic 95th Season, Disney and Cameron Mackinstosh's Mary Poppins the Musical, directed by Gary Griffin and choreographed by Alex Sanchez. Mary Poppins the Musical is sponsored by Ameren.

Jenny Powers will star in the title role, with Rob McClure co-starring as Bert. Joining them will be Erin Dilly as Winifred Banks and Stephen Buntrock as George Banks. Rounding out the cast will be Elizabeth Teeter as Jane Banks, Aidan Gemme as Michael Banks, James Anthony as Admiral Boom, Zoe Vonder Haar as Mrs. Brill, Anthony Christian Daniel as Robertson Ay, Laura Ackermann as the Bird Woman, and Rebecca Finnegan as Queen Victoria.

For the first time in The Muny's 95-year history, a character will fly over the Muny audience. Mary Poppins' magical effect is being created by ZFX, one of the premier flying-effect companies in the nation.

"This is a thrilling team and cast," said Muny Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. "They promise to take the Muny audience to new heights, which is also something we've taken rather literally. It's going to be an evening of true Muny magic."

According to a ZFX spokesperson, "We are absolutely thrilled to collaborate with The Muny on their historic premiere of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins the Musical! We've been working with them on this for over a year, and we believe ZFX's cutting-edge flying effects, along with The Muny's mission to provide great theatre, will definitely create a magical experience (full of surprises...wink, wink) for all of the audience members, both young and old."

Mary Poppins the Musical is based on the "Mary Poppins" series of children's books by P.L. Travers, and the 1965 Disney film of the same name. The musical features a book by Downton Abbey creater, Julian Fellowes, music and lyrics by the Academy Award-winning Sherman Brothers, and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

The Muny production features scenic design by Michael Schweikardt, sound design by Jason Krueger, lighting design by Seth Jackson, video design by Nathan Scheuer, and costume design by Nancy Missimi. Michael Horsley serves as the musical director, and the production stage manager is Nevin Hedley.

Jenny Powers (Mary Poppins) was most recently seen as Lois Lane in the NYC Encores! production of It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, and is currently starring in the Irish Rep's production of Donnybrook! On Broadway, she has been seen as Rizzo in Grease! and Meg in Little Women. Other roles include Veronica Franco in Dangerous Beauty (Pasadena Playhouse), Gina in Happiness (Lincoln Center), Sydney Sharp in It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman (DTC), and Diana Devereaux in Of Thee I Sing (Encores!). Jenny's TV and film credits include The Good Wife, Mercy, Law & Order: CI, Six Degrees, Nurse Jackie, I Think I Love My Wife, and Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Rob McClure (Bert) received 2013 Tony, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for his performance as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin The Musical on Broadway, a role he originated at La Jolla Playhouse (Craig Noel Award-winner). Prior to that he charmed audience and critics alike with another title role, leading the cast of Where's Charley? at Encores! A two-time Barrymore Award-winner, Rob starred on Broadway as Princeton/Rod in the Tony Award-winning musical, Avenue Q. He made his Broadway debut in the 2002 Broadway revival of I'm Not Rappaport alongside Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen. Other selected credits include Avenue Q (first national tour, Helen Hayes nomination), Amadeus (Mozart, Walnut Street Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymore, The Muny), The Game's Afoot (world premiere by Ken Ludwig, Cleveland Playhouse), The Producers (Carmen Ghia, Walnut Street Theatre), The Flea and the Professor (world premiere, Adren Theatre) and Johnny Baseball (world premiere, American Repertory Theater).

Erin Dilly (Winifred Banks) has been seen on Broadway as Mother in A Christmas Story, Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It, Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Tony and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), Cinderella in Into the Woods, Luciana in The Boys From Syracuse and Young Phyllis in Follies. Erin has also starred in Ken Ludwig's play Leading Ladies. Off-Broadway, she has starred in Fiorello! (Encores!), Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight, and Babes in Arms (Encores!). National tours include South Pacific, Beauty and the Beast and Cameron Mackintosh's Martin Guerre (Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress). TV and film credits include Elementary; Gossip Girl; Law & Order; Criminal Intent; SVU; The Jury; HBO's Everyday People, The Diary of Preston Plummer; Too Big To Fail and Julie & Julia. Among her regional credits are the Guthrie Theater, the Alley Theatre, the Cleveland Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House and Paper Mill Playhouse. Erin can be heard on the recordings of Babes in Arms and Louisiana Purchase. She will be starring opposite her real-life husband, Stephen Buntrock.

Stephen Buntrock (George Banks) returns to The Muny after making his Muny debut last summer as Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Broadway engagements include starring opposite Bernadette Peters as Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music, Curly in Oklahoma!, Gaston in Beauty and The Beast, St. John in the original cast of Jane Eyre, Barrett in Titanic the Musical, Enjolras in the Tenth Anniversary cast of LES MISERABLES, The Phantom of the Opera, and creating Teen Angel for the latest revival of Grease! He has toured extensively across the United States and Canada as Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) in Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Rueben in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Donny Osmond, originating the role of Arnaud du Thil in Cameron Mackintosh's production of Martin Guerre, and The Phantom of the Opera. Stephen has enjoyed many concert appearances as well, most recently in the New York Encores! production of Gentleman Prefer Blondes with Megan Hilty and performing alongside Dame Julie Andrews in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He will be playing opposite his real life Mrs. Banks, Erin Dilly, his wife of almost ten years.

Elizabeth Teeter (Jane Banks) comes home to St. Louis to play Jane in Mary Poppins after making her Broadway debut as Jane Banks in the closing company. Most recently, she was seen in New York City playing the role of young Marguerite in the workshop of the new musical Ever After, directed and choreographed by multiple Tony winner Kathleen Marshall, and as Eva in the reading of the new musical Lord Tom based on the book Uncle Tom's Cabin. Favorite Muny roles include Flounder in Disney's The Little Mermaid, Tootie in Meet Me In St. Louis, and Marta VonTrapp in The Sound of Music. Other St. Louis roles include Young Cosette in LES MISERABLES (Nerinx Hall) and The Girl in New Jewish Theatre's powerful production of Way To Heaven, as well as ensemble work at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Recordings include 2012 Carols for a Cure (Mary Poppins cast) and Lord Tom: The Musical production demo. Elizabeth will reunite with her Broadway "Michael" Aidan Gemme.

Aidan Gemme (Michael Banks) is making his Muny debut. On Broadway he appeared in Mary Poppins (Michael Banks). Film credits include Treasure Buddies (Babu), and Disney's upcoming Santa Pups (Noble). TV roles include Dora the Explorer (Benny the Bull), and Nickelodeon. Regionally he has been seen in The Secret Garden (Colin), Oliver!, and Random Farms Kids Theater.

JAMES ANTHONY (Capt. Brackett) last appeared at The Muny in 2011's Singin in the Rain and Bye Bye Birdie. Since 1991, he has performed in 42 productions at The Muny, including The Music Man (Mayor Schinn), Mame (Claude Upson), and Peter Pan (Smee), to name just a few. He has also performed at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis as one of the 12 Angry Men, and in St. Joan (Archbishop of Riems). In New York he appeared on daytime's One Life to Live. His film credits include Murder Ordained (Richard Jordan), Back to Hannibal (The Sheriff), Gone in the Night (Detective Foley), The Black Hole (Spencer Toland), and the recently released Joint Body (Cappy Knight). His professional career spans five decades and includes more than 230 productions.

Zoe Vonder Haar (Mrs. Brill) toured in the first international company of A Chorus Line for 2 ½ years before returning to her hometown of St. Louis to raise her family. She has since appeared in over 100 productions including many at The Muny. She has been blessed to perform such roles as Mama Rose in Gypsy; Mame Dennis in Mame; Cassie in A Chorus Line; Golde in Fiddler on the Roof; Meg in Damn Yankees; Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret; Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man; Margo Channing in Applause; Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! at Stages St. Louis (Kevin Kline Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical); Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady at The Muny (Kevin Kline Nomination); Old Lady in Sunday in the Park With George and Ms. Pennywise in Urinetown: The Musical at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis (Kevin Kline nomination), and Jeanette in The Full Monty at both Stages St. Louis and American Musical Theater San Jose. She is an original cast member of The American Musical, which performs throughout the year at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Zoe also teaches dance, musical theater and choreographs at 7 area schools.

Anthony Christian Daniel (Robertson Ay) makes his Muny debut in Mary Poppins. He has been seen in national tours of Disney's Mary Poppins and High School Musical, as well as the 40th Anniversary production of Fiddler on the Roof. Other favorites include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (J. Pierrepont Finch); South Pacific (Professor); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Zebulun); You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Charlie Brown); Oklahoma! (Will Parker); and Gypsy (Tulsa).

Laura Ackermann (Bird Woman) returns to The Muny for her 16th season. Mary Poppins is show number 35 for her. She's gone full circle, from the Lullaby League in 1975 to Auntie Em in the 2001 production of The Wizard of Oz, when a real tornado made an appearance on opening night. You may also recognize her from her performances as Mrs. Pearce in My Fair Lady, Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music, Eleonor Widener in Titanic the Musical, and Alma Hicks in The Music Man. Laura is a member of the St. Louis cast of Menopause the Musical (Earth Mother) and has played such roles as Nettie in Avalon Theater's production of The Subject Was Roses, and Mama in The New Jewish Theater's Last of the Red Hot Mamas. For Stages St. Louis, she has appeared as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Fraulein Kost in Cabaret. Most recently, she wrote, directed and choreographed the Christmas Cabaret at Dramatic License Theater.

Rebecca Finnegan (Queen Victoria) makes her Muny debut. She is a Chicago-based actress whose work at home has been honored with five Joseph Jefferson Awards and three After Dark Awards. Chicago credits include Tommy Tune's Turn of the Century and Mary Zimmerman's production of Candide at the Goodman Theatre, Michael Greif's world premiere of In The Bubble with Northwestern and the midwest premiere of Fiorello! at Timeline Theatre. Regional Credits include Candide at the Huntington Theatre and the Washington Shakespeare Theatre, A... My name is Alice and Godspell with Arkansas Repertory, A Christmas Carol at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Prelude to a Kiss and Beehive at Human Race Theatre and Chicago at Peninsula Players. Broadway and first national tours include: Summer and Smoke at The Roundabout and The Secret Garden. Rebecca will be playing the title role in the midwest premier of Juno at Timeline Theatre in 2013.

To purchase season tickets by phone, call (314) 361-1900, extension 550, or order online at www.muny.org. The Muny Box Office is now open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

Season Ticket buyers will enjoy their reserved seats for Mary Poppins from July 25 - 31. Additional performances (August 1 and 2) are non-subscribed, and offer exceptional seating opportunities for groups.

Groups of 20 or more people can enjoy a 20% discount. The group sales office is taking orders now. For more information or to make reservations, call (314) 361-1900, extension 308.

Single tickets will be available beginning 9 am Saturday, June 1 at The Muny Box Office in Forest Park, online or by phone. For more information, call (314) 361-1900 or visit www.muny.org.

For information on becoming a Muny Partner, visit www.muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.


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