MARY POPPINS National Tour Welcomes Caroline Sheen as New 'Mary' for Limited Engagement, 2/11

MARY POPPINS National Tour Welcomes Caroline Sheen as New 'Mary' for Limited Engagement, 2/11

Producers Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher have announced that Caroline Sheen will reprise the role of "Mary Poppins" in the North American Tour of MARY POPPINS, after originating the title role in the critically acclaimed UK Tour. Sheen replaces Ashley Brown, who will play her final performance in Los Angeles at The Ahmanson Theatre on Sunday, February 7. Sheen joins the production in Tempe, AZ where performances begin at ASU Gammage Auditorium on Thursday, February 11 for a limited engagement of 3 weeks through Sunday, February 28, 2010. The opening night is Friday, February 12 at 7:30pm.

Sheen makes her U.S. stage debut in the North American Tour after earning rave reviews from the UK press including The Herald (Plymouth, UK) who called her, "the perfect embodiment of the outwardly prim nanny with the free-thinking mind." Sheen, who was born in Wales, has appeared on stage in a wide variety of other leading roles in the West End and UK including The Light in the Piazza, Once in a Lifetime, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Grease, Les Miserables, The Witches of Eastwick and Mamma Mia! Sheen is appearing with the support of Actors' Equity Association. The Producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association for its assistance of this production.

Sheen will join Original London, Broadway and North American Tour star, Gavin Lee, who plays the affable chimney sweep, "Bert." Lee made his Broadway debut with MARY POPPINS after originating the role of "Bert" in the world premiere production in London's West End. Lee received critical acclaim for his portrayal of "Bert", in NY, London and on Tour, and was the recipient of the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor. Lee also received Tonyâ, Outer Critic Circle and Olivier Award nominations for Best Actor. His London theatre credits include Peggy Sue Got Married, Contact, Oklahoma!, Sondheim's Saturday Night, Crazy For You, and Me and My Girl. In addition, he has appeared in the recent film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera and Beyond The Sea.

Joining Sheen and Lee will be new cast members Laird Mackintosh as "George Banks", Blythe Wilson as "Winifred Banks", Rachel Izen as "Mrs. Brill" and Dennis Moench as "Robertson Ay."

Mr. Mackintosh has performed several leading roles in Canada including The Drowsy Chaperone, White Christmas, Arcadia and Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Wilson joins the production after appearing on stage in The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia!, Oklahoma, and Three Penny Opera.

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. Mr. Moench was recently seen in the Broadway production of MARY POPPINS and has appeared in the All Shook Up National Tour and Off-Broadway in Altar Boyz and Fame.

Ellen Harvey continues to star as "Miss Andrew", alongside Mary VanArsdel as "Bird Woman" and Mike O'Carroll as "Admiral Boom."

MS. Harvey's Broadway credits include The Music Man and Thou Shalt Not and she has appeared in the National Tours of Disney's High School Musical, Mamma Mia, Doctor Dolittle, and Sunset Boulevard. Ms. VanArsdel has appeared in productions of Cole Porter's Paris, Mass, Camelot (with Jeremy Irons), 110 In the Shade, and Gypsy. Mr. O'Carroll is a stage veteran whose past credits include White Christmas, Fiddler on the Roof, Showboat, Will Rogers Follies, Henry IV, Inherit the Wind, and Ragtime.

Performances in the role of "Jane Banks" will be alternated between Katie Balen and Bailey Grey. Performances in the role of "Michael Banks" will be alternated between Bryce Baldwin and Carter Thomas.

Rounding out the cast are Tia Altinay, Carol Angeli, Gail Bennett, Kiara Bennett, Brandon Bieber, Troy Edward Bowles, Elizabeth Broadhurst, Jonathan Brody, Kate Chapman, Elizabeth Earley, Michael Gerhart, Geoffrey Goldberg, Emily Harvey, Tiffany Howard, Kelly Jacobs, Sam Kiernan, Brian Letendre, Vanessa McMahan, Koh Mochizuki, Shua Potter, Dominic Roberts, Nick Sanchez, Q. Smith, Jesse Swimm and Tom Souhrada.

The entire original creative team has reunited to bring this magical story of the world's most famous nanny to audiences around North America. Since the tour's launch in Chicago in March 2009, MARY POPPINS has earned continuous critical praise and box-office success. The show is currently playing at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles through Sunday, February 7, 2010

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 James Dodgson.

Consistently among the top-grossing shows on Broadway, MARY POPPINS continues in its fourth smash year at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The Broadway production has been seen by two million theatergoers and grossed over $ 160 million to date.

Simultaneously, the show's popularity grows around the globe. Following a successful three year run (December 2004 - January 2008) at the Prince Edward Theatre on London's West End, a U.K. tour of MARY POPPINS commenced in summer 2008 and concluded its acclaimed run in Cardiff in April 2009. The Australian production of MARY POPPINS will premiere in July 2010 at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne.

An open-ended run of MARY POPPINS will take residence at the Circus Theatre in Scheveningen, Holland, outside of Amsterdam. The show will open in April 2010 at the Circus Theatre following TARZAN'S record setting run there. MARY POPPINS will be produced in Holland by Stage Entertainment in association with Disney and Cameron Mackintosh.

MARY POPPINS will play Tuesday through Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices start as low as $20.75. Special VIP Ticket Packages are available at select performances, and include premium seating and a complimentary souvenir program. Tickets will be available at the ASU Gammage Box Office, and online at ticketmaster.com. Orders for groups of 20 or more may be placed by calling 480.965.6678.

The Tempe engagement of MARY POPPINS is presented by arrangement with ASU Gammage and Broadway Across America and is a subscription offering of the PROGRESSIVE® Broadway Across America -Arizona Series.

Located on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University, ASU Gammage is among the largest university-based presenters of performing arts in the world. ASU Gammage is the home theater of PROGRESSIVE® Broadway Across America - Arizona and Beyond series. Its mission is connecting communities by providing artistic excellence and educational outreach to the public. ASU Gammage is an historic hall designed by internationally renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. asugammage.com

Broadway Across America is owned and operated by British theatre producer John Gore (CEO) and entertainment industry veteran Thomas B. McGrath (Chairman). Broadway Across America presents first-class touring Broadway musicals and plays, family productions and other live events throughout a network of 43 North American cities. Broadway Across America is also dedicated to the development and production of new and diverse live theatre for productions on Broadway, across America and throughout the world. Broadway Across America most recently produced the Broadway productions of HAIR, WEST SIDE STORY and Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS. Upcoming productions include MINSKY'S, PROMISES, PROMISES, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET and the West End production of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. Touring productions include Nickelodeon's STORYTIME ADVENTURES featuring Dora the Explorer and DREAMGIRLS. For more information or to purchase tickets through an authorized agent go to BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com.

For more information, please visit www.MaryPoppinsTour.com.

 

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