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MARY POPPINS Opens Tonight at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia premiere of MARY POPPINS opens tonight, Friday, March 25 at 8:00 pm at the Academy of Music for a limited engagement of four weeks through Sunday, April 17. MARY POPPINS plays Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm; Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm (except no performance on Sunday evening April 17); matinees Saturdays at 2:00 pm; Sundays at 1:00 pm; and an additional weekday matinee on Thursday, April 14 at 1:00 pm.

"Thus far sales have exceeded our expectations, but there are still great seats available" said Matt Wolf, Vice President of Programming for the Kimmel Center. "MARY POPPINS is a fun, magical, relevant production that appeals to audiences of all ages. Everyone from 8 to 80 will be captivated by this dazzling musical, and we are excited by the overwhelming response of Philadelphia area theatergoers."

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 $521 million and welcomed 7 million guests and cumulatively run 11.5 years. The musical is the winner of 35 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 23 cities to date.

Steffanie Leigh will star as "Mary Poppins" while original Broadway company member, Nicolas Dromard, will assume the role of "Bert".
Joining Leigh and Dromard will be Michael Dean Morgan as "George Banks", Blythe Wilson as "Winifred Banks", Rachel Izen as "Mrs. Brill", Dennis Moench as "Robertson Ay", Q. Smith as "Miss Andrew", Janet MacEwen as "The Bird Woman", and Michael McCarty as "Admiral Boom." Performances in the role of "Jane Banks" will be alternated between Camille Mancuso and Marissa Smoker. Performances in the role of "Michael Banks" will be alternated between Talon Ackerman and Tyler Merna.

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 from the 2006-2007 theatrical season still in performance.
The MARY POPPINS North American tour has garnered continuous critical praise and achieved box office success since its launch in Chicago in March 2009.
MARY POPPINS can also be seen in Scheveningen, Netherlands (outside of Amsterdam at the Circus Theatre), Melbourne, Australia (at Her Majesty's Theatre through April 1st) and Sydney, Australia (at the Capitol Theatre, opening May 5th). Productions of MARY POPPINS have also been mounted in Finland, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE THROUGH AUGUST 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 - Segerstrom Center for the Arts

July 14 - 31, 2011

San Diego - San Diego Civic Theatre

August 10 - 28, 2011

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.

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.

For more information, please visit MaryPoppins.com


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