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MARY POPPINS Celebrates 1000th Performance on Bdwy 4/9

MARY POPPINS Celebrates 1000th Performance on Bdwy 4/9

The award-winning musical Mary Poppins celebrates its 1000th performance at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Thursday, April 9 becoming one of a rare few musicals in Broadway's history to achieve this milestone. Produced by Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher for Disney Theatrical Productions, the Broadway production has grossed over $ 132 million to date, recouped its initial Broadway investment within 52 weeks of its premiere and has been seen by over 1.6 million theatergoers.

Simultaneously, the show's popularity grows around the globe. Following a successful three-year run at the Prince Edward Theatre in London's West End, a UK tour commenced last summer garnering critical and box office success. The UK tour opened in Plymouth, moved on to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and will close this month in Cardiff. A North American tour launched at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre on March 25, 2009 to rave reviews from Chicago's top theatrical critics. After Chicago, the tour heads to Cleveland's Playhouse Square, followed by additional cities including Minneapolis, St. Louis, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Many journalists have noted the parallels between the themes of Mary Poppins and the current economic troubles that are plaguing North America and the rest of the world, highlighting the relevancy of this timeless story. As Variety noted just last month, "Changing economic circumstances since the show's premiere add potent emotional currency".

It has been 75 years since P.L. Travers first wrote about the magic of Mary Poppins in her cherished novels, and the tale remains fresh and resonant to so many generations today. Based on Travers' 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 wrote the book, and the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who composed new songs and additional music and lyrics.

Olivier Award-winning director Richard Eyre led the Mary Poppins 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, music supervision by David Caddick, and music direction by Brad Haak.

Scarlett Strallen and Adam Fiorentino respectively play the roles of Mary Poppins and Bert. Joining Strallen and Fiorentino in the Broadway company are Daniel Jenkins (Mr. Banks), Rebecca Luker (Mrs. Banks), Jane Carr (Mrs. Brill), Ann Arvia (Bird Woman), Mark Price (Robertson Ay), Ruth Gottschall (Miss Andrew) and Jeff Steitzer (Admiral Boom).

Tickets to Mary Poppins can be purchased under Disney on Broadway's recently announced "$15 for 15" ticket offer, which offers buyers the opportunity until April 19 to purchase a companion ticket for $15 upon purchase of a regular priced ticket to THE LION KING, THE LITTLE MERMAID or Mary Poppins.

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For the past 15 years, DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS (DTP) has been a leading producer of live Stage Entertainment on Broadway and around the world. Currently under the direction of producer and president Thomas Schumacher, DTP has produced six award-winning Broadway musicals including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida, TARZAN®, Mary Poppins, a co-production by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, and The Little Mermaid. In total, these six shows have been seen by over 21 million people in New York alone and, cumulatively, over 82 million people worldwide. Thanks to the tremendous appeal of the Disney brand and its beloved characters, DTP has for 15 years brought new audiences to Broadway, many of whom have never been to the theatre before. Additionally, DTP produces and licenses its Broadway musicals around the world reaching a global annual audience of more than 10 million people in over 40 countries. DTP licenses musical titles for local schools and community productions through a partnership with Music Theatre International. Through its educational outreach department, DTP partners with New York City schools to bring young audiences to Broadway and DTP has donated regularly to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, among other charitable organizations.

Cameron Mackintosh (Producer and Co-Creator) has been producing for over 40 years, during which time he has put on hundreds of productions including Cats, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera - the three longest-running musicals in Broadway history - and Miss Saigon. He also produced Little Shop of Horrors, Side by Side by Sondheim, Follies, Martin Guerre and The Witches of Eastwick as well as acclaimed revivals of My Fair Lady, Oklahoma! and Oliver! which is about to re-open in a huge new production at London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane starring Rowan Atkinson as Fagin. Mary Poppins is a subject that he has wanted to do with Disney for more than 30 years. In 2006 Les Misérables overtook Cats to become the longest-running musical in the world. The masterpiece, MY FAIR LADY will be his first film project. Cameron owns seven theatres in London's West End all but one of which have been spectacularly restored. In 1990 he inaugurated the Cameron Mackintosh Chair of Contemporary Theatre at St. Catherine's College, Oxford University where he is also an Honorary Fellow and Member of the Court of Benefactors - the current professor is Kevin Spacey. He is President of the RoyAl Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, an Honorary Doctor of Literature at UCL and holds an Honorary Fellowship at Trinity College of Music. In 1992 he was presented with the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre, and in 2002 he was given the Oscar Hammerstein Award. His company received the 1995 Queen's Award for Export Achievement, in 2006 he received the Award for his Outstanding Contribution to British Tourism and he was knighted in the 1996 New Year's Honours for his services to British theatre.

Photo by Joan Marcus

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