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Sweet Spoonful of Sugar MARY POPPINS Comes to Detroit October 23-28

By Dr. Anton Anderssen

My distant cousin Walter Elias "Walt" Disney had a knack for turning everything into perfection, or at least practically perfect in every way. He took the mean, cranky nanny from P.L. Travers' book "Mary Poppins" and turned her into a saint. He excised two of the four Banks children, allowing the cutest ones to remain in the story. Travers' nanny couldn't dance on rooftops, didn't have adventures with Bert, didn't win at the horse races and couldn't sing.  Travers was Australian; they take pride in being able to endure aggressive crocodiles, harsh deserts and appalling alloparenting. For those of us in the northern hemisphere who prefer our protagonists to be a bit on the spoonful of sugar side, Disney's Mary Poppins is just the ticket.

Walt Disney lived his ongoing mission of making life more enjoyable and fulfilling.  He found fulfillment in family, and his definition of family was exceedingly broad, like it originally meant when the word familia was used by the Romans. The US Tour of Mary Poppins retains that magical, enthusiastic perspective, and shares the beauty of caring for those around us, even the little birds. In Disney's version of Mary Poppins, she was sent to teach the lesson, "love one another."

Broadway in Detroit brings the sweetest, spoonful of sugar musical to the Fisher Theatre October 23 - 28, 2012, just in time to coincide with Sweetest Day celebrations.

Mary Poppins is one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge from London or New York in recent years.  Worldwide to date, the show has grossed over $731 million and welcomed more than 10 million guests. The musical is the winner of 44 major theatre awards around the globe, including Tony®, Olivier, Helpmann and Evening Standard awards.  

Ticket prices for the Detroit engagement of MARY POPPINS start at $34 (includes parking and facility fees) and are now on sale at the Fisher Theatre box office, all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, and online at or  A limited number of premium seats are also available through Ticketmaster and the Fisher Theatre box office.  For group sales (12 or more), please email or call (313) 871-1132.  For additional information, call (313) 872-1000 or visit

Madeline Trumble as Mary Poppins. Photo: Jeremy Danielle Raspbury" width="427" height="640" />

Madeline Trumble as Mary Poppins. Photo: Jeremy Danielle Raspbury

Madeline Trumble, Tonya Thompson, Con O'Shea-Creal and the Company of Mary Poppins. Photo: Jeremy Daniel" width="600" height="334" />

Madeline Trumble, Tonya Thompson, Con O'Shea-Creal and the Company of Mary Poppins. Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Madeline Trumble as Mary and Con O'Shea-Creal as Bert. Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Madeline Trumble as Mary Poppins and Con O'Shea-Creal as Bert. Photo: Kyle Froman

The Company of Mary Poppins. Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Madeline Trumble as Mary Poppins and the Banks' Household. Photo: Kyle Froman

Con O'Crea Sheal and the cast of Mary Poppins in Step in Time. Photo: Kyle Froman


Madeline Trumble (Mary Poppins). What a dream come true! Proud Berkeley, California native and U of Michigan grad. Broadway: Newsies. 1st National Tour: Mary Poppins. Regional: MUNY, Berkeley Rep.

CON O'SHEA-CREAL (Bert). Broadway/Nat'l Tour: Irving Berlin's White Christmas. Regional: Singin' in the Rain (Production Tenor), 42nd St (Billy Lawlor), Annie Get Your Gun, A Christmas Carol, Urinetown. Workshop: Babes in Arms with Rosie O'Donnell. Native of Lincoln, Nebraska. B.F.A University of Oklahoma.

Michael Dean Morgan (George Banks) is honored to return to No. 17. You may have seen him as the comic hornbill, Zazu, in The Lion King; the neurotic clown fish, Marlin, in Disney's Finding Nemo – The Musical.  Credits at

Elizabeth Broadhurst (Winifred Banks).  Over 1,000 performances of Mary Poppins on tour!  Credits include: Annie (Grace): Madison Square Garden, 30th Anniversary Tour and Cast Recording; Hair (Jeanie u/s): European Tour; 1776 (Martha): Guthrie Theater; Two Gentleman of Verona (Milkmaid): Baltimore Center Stage.  More at:

Ryan Hilliard (Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman). Off Broadway: See Rock City and Other Destinations (Grampy/Carney), Grey Gardens (Major Bouvier), Ritual of Faith (Cardinal Santini), Godspell (Jesus).  With the Bill T. Jones Dance Company "Reading Mercy,..." First Voice. With Anna Netrebko at the Met Don Pasquale (Major Domo). With Chita Rivera Anything Goes (Eli Whitney). With John Schuck and Joanne Worley Annie (FDR). With Pat Hingle Inherit The Wind (Matthew Harrison Brady).

Blake Segal (Robertson Ay) is delighted to be joining Mary Poppins. Favorites include The Corn Is Green, Big Money (Williamstown); Romeo and Juliet (Yale Rep); Amadeus, The Winter's Tale, Arcadia, (Chautauqua Theater Co.); Carousel (Paper Mill Playhouse); Damn Yankees (Heritage Theatre Festival). TV: Blue Bloods. BA: UVa. MFA: Yale.

Tregoney Shepherd (Mrs. Brill) is delighted to be the 'domestic' in #17 Cherry Tree Lane.  Broadway: Been there.  National Tours: Done that. Regional theater/operas/one-womanshows: Check.  BFA: $20,000, MMA: $40,000.  DMA: Still Counting. 

Karen Murphy (Bird Woman/Miss Andrews). Member AEA: the professional actors union.  Broadway: A Little Night Music, 9 to 5, All Shook Up, 42nd Street, Titanic, King David, A Christmas Carol. Off B'way: My Vaudeville Man (Drama Desk Nomination Lead Actress), Zombie Prom, Forbidden Broadway.

MADISON ANN MULLAHEY (Jane Banks at certain performances). Broadway 1st Nat. Tour: Shrek the Musical (Young Fiona, Young Shrek, Grumpy). Regional: Music Man (Amaryllis).  Commercial: Toys R Us/Dora. "Stretch your mind beyond fantastic. Dreams are made of strong elastic."

Julianna RigogliosO (Jane Banks at certain performances) is delighted to be part of this amazing production.  She sends out a big hug to her parents, two puppies and practically perfect six brothers. 

Zachary Mackiewicz (Michael Banks at certain performances), from Hasbrouck Hts., NJ, is thrilled to join Mary Poppins!  Off-Broadway; Lemon Sky (Jack), regional theater, film, television, commercials and voiceovers.

ELI TOKASH (Michael Banks at certain performances) feels blessed to make his touring debut with Mary Poppins!  Theatre credits:  A Musical Christmas Carol (Tiny Tim); Oliver; Jesus Christ Superstar.  Film credits:  Anywhere But Here; Bloodties and Super 8. 

Danielle Benton (Ensemble) Danielle is ecstatic to join the Poppins family! Hairspray, Sound of Music, Anne of Green…, Cinderella, Wizard of Oz, Beauty &…, Eugene Onegin, British Invasion. Guest star on Endgame (Showcase), Supernatural (CW), Music Man (Disney), Hellcats (CW), LA Complex (CW), Sucker Punch (Warner Bros).

Elizabeth Ann Berg (Ensemble, Katie Nanna). Tour debut! Regional credits include: Show Boat (Lottie) and Hello! My Baby (Nelly Gold, Workshop) at Goodspeed Opera House, Into the Woods (Lucinda, IRNE Award Best Musical), Company (April), A Class Act (Sophie). BFA Boston Conservatory.

Callan Bergmann (Ensemble). NYC: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Encores!), Silence! The Musical and Lucky Guy (Off-Broadway). Regional: 13 shows at Pittsburgh CLO, Paper Mill Playhouse, The MUNY, North Shore Music Theater. Film/Television: Smash (NBC), Elixir (ABC Family), Sorority Row (Summit Entertainment). Proud Point Park University grad.

Lindsey Bliven (Ensemble) is thrilled to join Mary Poppins! Tours: A Chorus Line, Oklahoma! (Laurey), Wizard of Oz (Ensemble, Glinda & Wicked Witch u/s). Regional: Singin' in the Rain at WBT (ensemble, Kathy u/s), Steel Magnolias at OK Lyric (Shelby), …Forum at MTW (Philia). OU grad.

Jonathan Burke (Ensemble). Off-Broadway: Urban Stages-Langston in Harlem (Junior Addict). Tours: (A Christmas Story; Cats (Mungojerrie). Regional favorites: Goodspeed- Amazing Grace(Tyler); Merry-Go Round Playhouse- Hairspray(Seaweed); Hangar Theatre - Rent (Angel).  TV Land Awards w/ Liza Minnelli.  Commercial: Joe's Crab Shack.  BFA Ithaca College. 

Ben Cherry (Ensemble, Von Hussler/Policeman). Tour debut. Regional: Route 66, Andrews Brothers, Life Could Be A Dream, (world premiere, Milwaukee Rep), The Secret Garden, The Tempest, Henry V, (4 seasons, Utah Shakespeare Festival), Forever Plaid (Delaware Theatre Company). New York: Sonnet Repertory Theatre, I Hate New York…a love story, (MAC Award winner, Best Debut) TV: Smash.

Kerry Conte (Ensemble). Broadway/ Concert:  Brigadoon (Jane), Camelot (Lady Anne).  Off-Broadway:  The Irish...and How They Got That Way, Ernest in Love, Meet Me in St Louis, (Irish Rep), The Housewives' Cantata  (York Theatre), A Tale of Cinderella (Tour/Recording). Regional: Muny, NYSTI, WPPAC.

Emily Cramer (Ensemble, Miss Lark/Miss Smythe).  Raised by a pack of humboldt squid until the age of 6, Emily moved to NYC to study musical theatre at Tisch, NYU. She was most recently seen on the first national tour of Dreamworks' Shrek the Musical (Swing). 

Elizabeth Earley (Dance Captain, Swing). Tours: Mary Poppins 1st National (Dance Captain), Whistle Down the Wind, Beauty and the Beast. Regional: Ragtime (Kennedy Center), Bennett's A Chorus Line (SALT Award nominee; Cassie), Evita (Sacramento Music Circus). For more, visit BFA: NYU's Tisch.

Andrew Eckert (Ensemble) is thrilled to join the Mary Poppins family! National tour: Debut! Regional: Fireside Theatre, Westchester Broadway, Weston and Ogunquit Playhouses. Thank you to our creative team, Tara Rubin Casting, Carson/Kolker and friends. BA Wagner College.

JORDAN GRUBB (Ensemble, Valentine). Recent credits: My Fair Lady (NSMT), 42nd Street (Sacramento Music/Pioneer/WBT) The Music Man (KC Starlight), The Importance of Being Earnest (Pittsburgh Public). Point Park University grad.

LEEDS HILL (Ensemble, Neleus) is absolutely thrilled to join Mary Poppins! Tour debut. Credits: Heat Wave: The Jack Cole Project (Queens Theatre); Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Paper Mill Playhouse); Dickon US (performed), The Secret Garden (Stages St. Louis). BFA, Musical Theatre, CCM. Proud member of AEA.

Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua (Ensemble) is happy to be back in the Disney family. Broadway: Wicked, The Frogs. National Tour: Flower Drum Song. Regional: Aladdin, Cinderella, Hair, Pacific Overtures, Miss Saigon.

MATT MEIGS (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his national tour debut with Mary Poppins! He has been seen on regional stages such as The MUNY in St. Louis, Flat Rock Playhouse, and Theatre By the Sea.

Sean Montgomery (Ensemble, Northbrook) National Tour: 9 to 5 (First National) Regional: Oklahoma! (TOTS), Les Misérables, Pajama Game, Hello, Dolly! (MUNY), Crazy For You (TBTS), Drowsy Chaperone, Show Boat (Gateway), Backwards In High Heels (AHT). Training: BFA (CCM). Member of AEA-SAG-AFTRA.

James Patterson (Ensemble, Park Keeper).  Broadway: Beauty and the Beast, State Fair. Tours: The Drowsy Chaperone, CATS. Other: Mame  (Kennedy Center), Iron Curtain (Prospect), Sail Away (Carnegie Hall),  Le Comte Ory (Metropolitan Opera), Bye, Bye Birdie  (NSMT),  42nd Street (Sacramento Music Circus), What a Glorious Feeling (ATF). 

Annie Petersmeyer (Swing). Tour Debut! Regional: Helen Hayes Award-Winning Best Musical Oklahoma! (Virginia/Ado Annie u/s), 42nd Street (Ethel), Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl), West Side Story (Pauline/Anybodys u/s), Evita (Tango Dancer), Cats (Sillabub). B.M: FSU.

Stephen Roberts (Assistant Dance Captain, Swing) is thrilled to join the Poppins team! Credits include: Peter in Peter Pan (Neptune), Scarecrow in The Wizard Of Oz (Drayton), Abe in Altar Boyz (Angelwalk), as well as several seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare and Charlottetown Festivals.

Curtis Schroeger (Swing). NY City Center Encores: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes National Tours: LCT's South Pacific and Fiddler with Topol/Harvey Fierstein. Opening Number of the 65th Tony Awards. Recent: The Muny Disney's Aladdin and Thoroughly Modern Millie. FSU Alum.

Tonya Thompson (Ensemble, Mrs. Corry/Queen Victoria). Tour Debut!  AMDA-NY Grad, Miami, FL native, but now calls NYC home!! Regional Credits: Caroline, or Change (The Moon), Hairspray (Motor Mouth), The Full Monty (Joanie Lish), Show Boat (Queenie U/S), Ragtime, Fame (Mabel Washington), Rent (Season Soloist), Little Shop (Chiffon), The Drowsy Chaperone (Avatrix), Disney Cruise Line's Hercules (Clio), Wonder 15, Ain't Misbehavin (Nell) Edinburgh, Scotland Fringe.

Paige Williams (Ensemble) is thrilled to make her tour debut with Mary Poppins!  OCU Dance Graduate.  Credits: Radio City Rockette, On the Town at Paper Mill Playhouse, All Shook Up (Lorraine) at MTW, Hairspray (Dynamite) at Cape Playhouse

MINAMI YUSUI (Ensemble). Minami is thrilled to join Mary Poppins! Credits include: James and the Giant Peach (Goodspeed); Wicked (Japan); The King and I (Walnut Street); Chicago (Flat Rock); Forum (Weston); Cats (MSMT). A native of Kanazawa, Japan.

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