‘Mary Poppins’ flies out of the New Amsterdam Theatre

Steffanie Leigh as Mary Poppins and Nicolas Dromard as Bert perform "Chim Chim Cher-ee."

Steffanie Leigh as Mary Poppins and Nicolas Dromard as Bert perform “Chim Chim Cher-ee.”

Mary Poppins will take her final flight at the New Amsterdam Theatre tonight.

After playing 2,619 performances for more than four million guests, making it number 22 in the list of longest-running shows in Broadway history, and seven Tony Award nominations including its win for Best Scenic Design in 2007.

Mary Poppins is the third most seen Broadway show in the past six years, following Wicked and The Lion King.

For many children, Mary Poppins was the first Broadway show that they experienced. Magic occurred on that stage. Real, true and innocent magic. For me, Mary Poppins is particularly special because it was the show that made me realize that I wanted to work in theatre.

I watched Neil McCaffrey (Billy Elliot the Musical) and Kelsey Fowler (Bonnie and Clyde) who were on as Michael and Jane,  and saw the fun that they were having on that stage. There was a moment in the original production where Jane and Michael would run at the audience, getting caught in a rope just as they were about to fly off the stage.  My ten-year-old self knew in that instance that I wanted to be in the theatre all the time.

The closing cast features Steffanie Leigh in her Broadway debut as Mary Poppins, Nicolas Dromard (Oklahoma) as Bert, Karl Kenzler (Twelve Angry Men) as George Banks and Megan Osterhaus (Mamma Mia!) as Winnifred Banks. All six children sharing the roles of Jane and Michael Banks made their Broadway debut in this show.

Mary Poppins is based off of the similarly titled books by P.L. Travers and the 1964 Disney film of the same name.  The story follows the mischievous Banks children and their distant in their endeavor with their newest nanny, Mary Poppins. The family realizes the magic of love and fun through Mary’s games and lessons.

The show featured such songs from the movie as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Step in Time” and “Jolly Holiday” as well as a plethora of new songs such as “Anything Can Happen” and “Temper, Temper” which was replaced from the production, with “Playing the Game” half way through the Broadway run for being too scary, but can still be heard on the London cast album.

Mary Poppins held its world premiere in the West End in 2004, with Laura Michelle Kelly, who subsequently won the 2005 Oliver Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Mary, and Gavin Lee (Peggy Sue Got Married) in the title roles.

The show opened at the New Amsterdam on November 16, 2006 with Ashley Brown and Gavin Lee, reprising his role, as Mary and Bert. Other notable cast members included Rebecca Luker (Sound of Music) as Mrs. Banks and Daniel Jenkins (Golden Boy) as Mr. Banks. The children were split up by performance and played by Katherine Leigh Doherty (A Little Night Music), Kathryn Faughnan and Delaney Moro (13 the Musical) for Jane Banks and Matthew Gumley (The Addams Family), Henry Hodges (13 the Musical) and Alexander Scheitinger (Beauty and the Beast) as Michael Banks.

Mary Poppins was a show that truly utilized the joy that could outcome from theatre and it will be sorely missed, and if ever given the opportunity to see the national tour, currently starring Madeline Trumble (Newsies) and Con O’Sheal-Creal (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas), it is a theatrical experience not to be missed.

Tags: , ,
Subscribe to Comments RSS Feed in this post

2 Responses

  1. It is such a shame that I was never able to see this show on the Great White Way. Fingers crossed that the tour makes it back soon!

    • The tour production is supposedly exactly like the Broadway production minus the movement of the set. It’s definitely something not to miss!