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Way Off Broadway Will Reopen With MARY POPPINS

Way Off Broadway Will Reopen With MARY POPPINS

As businesses around the state of Maryland begin to reopen following the worldwide Coronavirus Pandemic closure, The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre is preparing to resume performances this summer with the high-flying family musical adventure Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins.

The production will take flight as originally scheduled on Friday, July 17th, following the untimely closing of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery four months earlier.

In Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins, jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren't the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that "Anything can happen if you let it."

The character of Mary Poppins first appeared in P.L. Travers's 1934 children's book Mary Poppins. The magical, no-nonsense English nanny went on to be featured in seven more books penned by Travers, the last of which was published in 1988.

In the early '60s, after a great deal of negotiating, Walt Disney was finally able to obtain the rights to make a film adaptation starring the popular character. Released in 1964, Mary Poppins flew onto the silver screen with Julie Andrews playing the iconic figure, alongside Dick Van Dyke as lovable, charismatic chimneysweep Bert. The film was so successful, it earned 13 Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture. Of the five trophies the film took home, one was for Andrews as Best Leading Actress in a Film.

In 1993, theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh acquired the rights to create a stage adaptation of Mary Poppins. It wasn't until 11 years later that the musical opened in London's West End. Based on the film and Travers's works, Mackintosh joined with Walt Disney Theatricals to produce the high-flying musical which won two Olivier Awards that season.

Two years later, Mary Poppins opened in New York at the New Amsterdame Theatre starring Ashley Brown as Mary and Gavin Lee (who originated the role in London) as Bert. The Broadway production went on to run for over six years and more than 2,600 performances.

"We are extremely excited to, not only be able to announce that the theatre is reopening, but to do so with such a fun and entertaining musical," says Bill Kiska, Way Off Broadway's Executive Producer and Mary Poppins director.

Way Off Broadway's production is led by Jaimie Lea Kiska - who has recently appeared at the theatre as Belle in Disney's Beauty & the Beast and Tanya in Mamma Mia! - playing Mary Poppins, alongside Jake Thereault making his WOB debut as Bert. Jordan B. Stocksdale takes on the role of George Banks with Megan E. West as Winifred Banks. The Banks children are played by Madelyn Grace Kiska and Olivia Manos sharing the role of Jane and Patrick Ford and Josh Townshend sharing the role of Michael. The cast also includes Tina M. Bruley, Cullen Byers, Tim Edwards, Katharine Ford, Olivia Herlein, Melissa Ann Martin, Sarah Melinda, Peter Radzikevish, and Carrie Shaw.

Mary Poppins has original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman and a book by Jullian Fellowes. New songs, as well as additional music and lyrics, were added by Anthony Drewe and George Stiles. The show is based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film. Way Off Broadway's production is directed by Kiska, with music direction by Jordan B. Stocksdale and choreography by Dee Buchanan.

Disney & Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins will run July 17 - August 29, 2020, with performances every Friday and Saturday evening and matinees on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sunday of each month. In the evenings, guests arrive for dinner at 6:00 p.m. with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m., while for Sunday matinees, guests arrive at 12:30 p.m. for lunch with the show beginning at 2:15 p.m. Tickets on Friday or Sunday are $47 per person and $50 on Saturday.

Tickets may be purchased by visiting the theatre or calling the Box Office at (301) 662-6600.

To learn more about Mary Poppins, or any of Way Off Broadway's productions, including the newly announced 2020/2021 Season line-up, visit www.wayoffbroadway.com.


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