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Leigh Leads MARY POPPINS in Philadelphia This Spring; Cast Announced

Producers Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical Productions and Cameron Mackintosh are pleased to announce full casting for the Philadelphia engagement of MARY POPPINS. Philadelphia's most eagerly anticipated stage production will begin performances at the Academy of Music on Wednesday, March 23 for a limited engagement of four weeks through Sunday, April 17 as part of the Broadway Season, presented by the Kimmel Center and The Shubert Organization. The opening night (press opening) is Friday, March 25 at 8:00 pm.

Tickets for MARY POPPINS start at $20 and can be purchased by calling 215-731-3333, online at kimmelcenter.org/broadway, at the Kimmel Center box office, Borad & Spruce Sts. (open daily 10 am to 6 pm) or at the Academy of Music box office (open during performances only). Groups of 15 or more will receive discounts for select performances by calling 215-790-5883 or 866-276-2947. Performances include: Tuesday - Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm; Friday & Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm; Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm (no performance on Sunday evening, April 17); matinees Saturdays at 2:00 pm; Sundays at 1:00 pm; and weekday matinees on Thursday, March 24 and Thursday, April 14, both at 1:00 pm.

With four productions currently running on three continents, 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 $470 million and welcomed 6.5 million guests. The musical is the winner of 25 major theatre awards around the globe, including Tony®, Olivier and Evening Standard awards.

The entire original creative team has reunited to bring this magical story of the world's most famous nanny to audiences around North America. The MARY POPPINS North American Tour began performances on March 25, 2009 and has played to 1.5 million delighted theatergoers in 22 cities to date.

Steffanie Leigh, who previously understudied the title role in the touring production, will star as "Mary Poppins" while original Broadway company member Nicolas Dromard will assume the role of "Bert."

Leigh, a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has previously been seen on stage in productions of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Beauty and the Beast, 42nd St., Into the Woods, Grease, Mame, and Les Miserables.

Leigh will appear alongside original Broadway company member, Nicolas Dromard, who plays the affable chimney sweep, "Bert." Dromard was a member of the original Broadway company of MARY POPPINS and recently played the role of "Fiyero" in the San Francisco production of Wicked. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dromard has also appeared in the Broadway productions of The Boy From Oz and Oklahoma! and originated roles in the Canadian productions of Mamma Mia! and Hairspray. Dromard also appeared in stage productions at Stratford Festival of Canada and the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

Joining Leigh and Dromard will be Michael Dean Morgan as "George Banks." Mr. Morgan's previous stage credits include Disney's The Lion King, The Mystery of Mrs. Shakespeare and Disney's Finding Nemo. "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.

Q. Smith will play "Miss Andrew." Ms. Smith stage credits include Fame on 42nd Street, Smokey Joe's Café, Aida, Joseph...Dreamcoat and the Broadway production of Les Miserables. "The Bird Woman" will be played by Janet MacEwen, who has appeared in the Broadway and touring productions of Beauty and the Beast, as well as in productions of Anne of Green Gables, Cats, Les Miserables, Suds!, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Evita, Mamma Mia!, Jacques Brel. "Admiral Boom" will be portrayed by Michael McCarty, a stage veteran whose Broadway credits include MARY POPPINS, To Be Or Not To Be, Oklahoma!, 42nd Street, Sweeney Todd, Big River, Teddy & Alice, Oliver!, Amadeus, King Of Hearts, Dirty Linen.

Performances in the role of "Jane Banks" will be alternated between Camille Mancuso and Marissa Smoker. Ms. Mancuso's previous theatre credits include the national tours of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, White Christmas, and Little House on the Prairie. Ms. Smoker is making her national tour debut and was recently seen in regional productions of Annie Get Your Gun, Radio Girl, A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden, Annie, Les Miserables and The Sound of Music. Performances in the role of "Michael Banks" will be alternated between Talon Ackerman and Tyler Merna. Mr. Ackerman has previously appeared in the stage productions of Disney's Tarzan, Cats, The Secret Garden, Sleepy Hollow and Our Town. Mr. Merna is making his national tour debut and has recently appeared on stage in the Off-Broadway productions of Shine! and Afterlight.

Rounding out the cast are Jacob ben Widmar, Kiara Bennett, Troy Edward Bowles, Elizabeth Broadhurst, Arielle Campbell, Debra Cardona, Eric Coles, Carol Angeli Dillard, Case Dillard, Elizabeth Earley, Geoffrey Goldberg, Mark Harapiak, Eric Hatch, Garett Hawe, Tiffany Howard, Lisa Kassay, Sam Kiernan, Koh Mochizuki, Shua Potter, Chuck Rea, Nick Sanchez, Jesse Swimm, Jen Taylor, Rachel Wallace and Michelle E. White.

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 Daniel Bowling.

ABOUT MARY POPPINS WORLDWIDE

MARY POPPINS received its worldwide premiere at the Prince Edward Theatre in the West End in December 2004. Following its successful three-year London run, the production launched an acclaimed U.K. tour.

The Broadway production of MARY POPPINS officially opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on November 16, 2006, recouping its initial Broadway investment within 52 weeks of its premiere in 2006. MARY POPPINS is the only show that opened during the 2006-2007 theatrical season still in performance.

The MARY POPPINS North American tour has also garnered continuous critical praise and achieved box office success since its launch in Chicago in March 2009.

In addition to Broadway and North America, MARY POPPINS can also be seen at the Circus Theatre in Scheveningen, Holland, outside of Amsterdam, and in Melbourne, Australia at Her Majesty's Theatre. Productions of MARY POPPINS have also been mounted in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Czech Republic. Future productions are planned for Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Israel, Japan, Mexico and South America.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE THROUGH AUGUST 2011

Boston - Opera House
February 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

San Diego - San Diego Civic Theatre
August 10 - 28, 2011


For more information, please visit MaryPoppins.com

The Broadway Season is presented by the Kimmel Center and The Shubert Organization. In addition to Mary Poppins, remaining 2010 - 2011 Broadway Season productions at the Academy of Music, Forrest Theatre and Merriam Theater includes: next to normal (June 21 - 26) at the Academy of Music. Additional shows will include: Madagascar Live! (May 13 - 15) at the Academy of Music.

KIMMEL CENTER, INC., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and the University of the Arts Merriam Theater. Our mission is to operate a world class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience which includes providing arts in education, community outreach and a rich diversity of programming. The 2010/2011 season is sponsored by Citi, and the Broadway 2010/2011 season is sponsored by Verizon, and American Airlines. For additional information, visit kimmelcenter.org.

The Shubert Organization is responsible for the ownership and/or operation of 21 theatres in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC and continues its involvement in the presentation of distinguished theatrical productions. They include Cats, Sunday in the Park with George, Dreamgirls, Little Shop of Horrors, The Heidi Chronicles, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, Lettice & Lovage, Dancin', Amadeus, The Gin Game, Passion and Indiscretions. The Shubert Organization's activities include the revitalization of the American theatre, participation in civic and community affairs, the introduction of phone and charge ticket sales and a computerized ticketing system. This wide range of operation has proven highly effective in New York and throughout the country.

 


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