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Topic: Mary Poppins, the NEW MUSICAL! Website now open, Disney "Broadway" show opens in London< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 20, 2003 6:25 am/pm Quote

Mary Poppins, the NEW MUSICAL!

New Broadway-style show being produced by Disney and the producers of  "Cats," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera"

Opens December 15, 2004 in London


"Mary Poppins," the 1964 Disney film about a magical nanny that won Julie Andrews an Academy Award in the title role, is being reinvented for the theater as the latest stage musical to draw inspiration from a well-known movie.

The production will mark the first collaboration between Cameron Mackintosh, the British theater impresario behind such global hits as "Cats," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera," and the theater division of the Walt Disney Co., whose shows include "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King" and "Aida."

Richard Eyre, head of Britain's National Theater, will direct. The musical, which has not been cast, will open Dec. 15, 2004, at the Prince Edward Theatre on the West End after a seven or eight week out-of-town tryout. Rehearsals start in July, producers said Monday.

"The fusion actually has created something which is fresh," said Mackintosh, who met several times with Pamela Travers, Australian author of the various novels on which the movie version was based.

Drawing from the beloved film and extensively from Travers' books, "Mary Poppins" on stage will be "something familiar but which has its own life, which is what one always strives for with any adaptation of anything," Mackintosh said.

For the theater production, the Oscar-winning score by American brothers Richard and Robert Sherman will feature a half dozen or more new songs by the younger English songwriting team of George Stiles (music) and Anthony Drewe (lyrics).

That means playgoers can expect "A Spoonful of Sugar" and the Oscar-winning best song "Chim Chim Cher-ee," as well as new numbers, several of which, "Brimstone and Treacle" and "Practically Perfect," are already generating a buzz.

"Hopefully, everyone will get their favorite moment," Stiles said.

At a recent London read-through of the musical for an invited audience that included Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Drewe played Dick van Dyke's screen role, Bert; two-time Olivier Award-winner Joanna Riding sang Mary Poppins.

In probably the greatest departure from the film, British actress-singer Julia McKenzie played Miss Andrew, a character prominently featured in the books but who isn't in the movie.

The book writer for the stage musical is Julian Fellowes, the one-time actor who won an Oscar last year for his "Gosford Park" screenplay.

In an interview, Fellowes said that in returning to Travers' three main Poppins books and other works, the aim "was to invigorate a show by going back to its source."

These days, more and more theater musicals ("The Full Monty," "The Witches of Eastwick," "Footloose") derive inspiration from films, where once the creative flow of traffic went the other way.

Among London's current hits is a stage adaptation of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," which itself began life as a film with a Sherman brothers score.

Mackintosh said he thought the time for a stage "Poppins" was now. "The whole notion of having a nanny - which in the '70s and '80s seemed something from a bygone era - now no longer is: Most people with a bit of money have nannies."

Still, with eight months to go until rehearsals, and a 30-member cast still to be signed, Mackintosh was sounding reluctant to make too many claims on the musical's behalf.

"The show materially is in pretty good shape - as much as one can be that hasn't gone into rehearsal," he said.

Full details.
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dizneluver9 Offline

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Posted: Oct. 20, 2003 6:54 am/pm Quote

Does anybody know the time frame for this coming to America?  :flag:

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Kelly D./dizneluver9 <>< :D  :flag2: :music: for RAD
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first cruise on DCL Wonder Sept. 4-7, 2003..had a BLAST!

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Goofyteer Offline

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Posted: Oct. 21, 2003 12:34 am/pm Quote

I'm just glad they didn't consider making a movie remake of Mary Poppins!

But a musical would be just great with me, I'd love to see that on a broadway stage. I think it could be very charming.


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LilMarcieMouse Offline

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Posted: Oct. 21, 2003 1:18 am/pm Quote

:o  WOW!!!! With Cameron Mackintosh at the helm how could this not make it big. Everyt hing the man touches turns to gold it seems. I'm looking forward to seeiing this one some time. Soon I hope. :coolgrin:

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"Your dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway."
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Oct. 21, 2003 2:09 am/pm Quote

Quote (dizneluver9 @ Oct. 20, 2003 5:54 am/pm)
Does anybody know the time frame for this coming to America?  :flag:

Nope! At this point, not even anyone at Disney.

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RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Nov. 29, 2003 2:16 am/pm Quote

Mary Poppins, Tarzan, and The Little Mermaid: Having Reshaped Broadway, Disney Readies a Second Act

Quick quote:
The Walt Disney Company, with three hits already on Broadway, is preparing a second, even more ambitious assault.

The company has another three musicals nearing production, each based on a Disney movie. Having already changed Broadway, Disney may soon dominate it, with possibly as many as six musicals running simultaneously.

The most anticipated and potentially lucrative is "Mary Poppins," based on the classic P. L. Travers children's books and the 1964 movie version that starred Julie Andrews as a high-flying, umbrella-toting, chore-dispensing governess.

Disney officials, led by Thomas Schumacher, president of the company's theatrical division, have high hopes for "Poppins," which some on Broadway believe could match "The Lion King," which has grossed more than $300 million at the New Amsterdam Theater since its opening in 1997 and more than $1 billion worldwide.

"It's a beloved movie, just as `The Lion King' was a beloved piece and `Beauty and the Beast' was, and the creative talents involved are prodigious," said Gerald Schoenfeld, the chairman of the Shubert Organization, Broadway's biggest landlord. "I'll tell you something: if this show is a hit in London, it will be off the charts here."
[...]
Now Disney is gearing up for "Poppins." The show, which has begun casting in London, is due to open there in December 2004. It is being produced in conjunction with the British impresario Cameron Mackintosh and has a distinguished creative team, including the director Richard Eyre (formerly the artistic director of the Royal National Theater), the choreographer Matthew Bourne (hairy-chested version of "Swan Lake") and the ubiquitous Broadway designer Bob Crowley ("Aida," "Invention of Love").

Disney is also working on musical productions of "Tarzan," which could arrive as soon as spring 2005, and "The Little Mermaid," which is tentatively scheduled for 2007.
[...]
The man at the heart of the Disney operation is Mr. Schumacher, a boyish 45-year-old who stepped down from his position as president of the studio's animation division last December to concentrate his energies on Disney's theatrical projects.

"Our interest in `Mary Poppins' is based both on the enduring appeal of the fantastic books by P. L. Travers and Walt's wonderful film," Mr. Schumacher wrote in a recent e-mail message. "Our job, and the job of our great collaborators, is obviously a daunting one."

"Poppins," however, is just the beginning.

Like "Lion King," "Beauty" and "Aida," before them, "Tarzan" and "Mermaid" have pop music composers. "Tarzan," which was an animated hit for Disney in 1999 with a score by the pop star Phil Collins, had a weeklong workshop in August and has another workshop planned for January. Its creative team includes Mr. Crowley, who is directing and designing, and Meryl Tankard, an Australian choreographer perhaps best known as the lead dancer for the experimental German choreographer Pina Bausch. The playwright David Henry Hwang is doing the book. Disney officials have already begun scouting Las Vegas and other circus hot spots for acrobatic experts; "Tarzan," after all, involves much advanced swinging.

The stage version of "The Little Mermaid" is being composed by Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast"). The project is close to the heart of the chairman of Disney, Michael Eisner, who has listened to the score during several private meetings at Mr. Menken's Midtown apartment. Several other projects, including "On the Record," a stage revue of Disney songs, are also in the works for the road and possible Broadway runs.

But "Poppins" is the crown jewel, a project that has been in development, both at Disney and in Mr. Mackintosh's office, for almost 10 years. The partnership was an act of necessity; Mr. Mackintosh held the stage rights to the original books (there were eight), while Disney holds the movie rights and its Oscar-winning score by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman.

The stage production will differ somewhat from the movie, Mr. Mackintosh said, with new songs and several new stories from the books. The principal challenge, he said, will be to balance people's memories with the demands of the stage. "It's absolutely the thing that we have to be most brave about," Mr. Mackintosh said. "We must not disappoint people, but the best way to do that is to reinvent the thing they love."

That process has already begun; casting in London is nearing completion, with early reports that the British actress Laura-Michelle Kelly (who gained good reviews as Eliza in "My Fair Lady" in London) is a leading candidate for the title role.

Mr. Schumacher, ever cautious, wouldn't comment on the cast — or the cost, though Mr. Mackintosh said the London production is likely to cost from $8.5 million to $12 million.

Both men were also careful not to sound cocky about a production that many on Broadway agree could land supercalifragilisticexpialidociously.

"We've not talked publicly in detail about what we are doing with the material, and I think I'll let that stand," Mr. Schumacher wrote in a message. "As for why other people like it, that's for them to tell you."

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 04, 2003 9:41 am/pm Quote

Brit Up-and-Comer Kelly Lands Mary Poppins

Broadway announces up-and-coming West End theater actress Laura Michelle Kelly will play Mary Poppins in the upcoming stage musical.

Full details.




Disney Begins Casting Stage of Mary Poppins

Casting has begun for Disney Theatricals Mary Poppins, which is set to open in London in December 2004.

Full details.




Alex Jennings & Janie Dee Offered Mary Poppins

The roles of Mr. and Mrs Banks have been offered to Alex Jennings and Janie Dee.

Full details.
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 10, 2003 1:21 am/pm Quote

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

The musical's official website is now open: Click here!

This is a very beautiful website. Be sure to have your speakers turned on.
:thumbsup:


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 10, 2003 1:25 am/pm Quote

DISNEY AND CAMERON MACKINTOSH ANNOUNCE A MUSICAL STAGE PRODUCTION OF “MARY POPPINS” TO OPEN AT THE PRINCE EDWARD THEATRE IN DECEMBER 2004

Thomas Schumacher, producer for Disney Theatrical Productions, and Cameron Mackintosh today announced that they have joined forces to co-produce a stage adaptation of the beloved classic “MARY POPPINS”, based on the stories by P. L. Travers and the 1964 Walt Disney film. The production will open at the Prince Edward Theatre on 15 December 2004, forty years after the premiere of the film.

P.L. (Pamela) Travers' timeless creation continues to exert an extraordinary hold over contemporary imagination and the power of the material has attracted some of theatre's finest creative talents to work on the project. Announcing the team the two producers said, “Everyone we talked to about working with us feels the same, a sense that these characters and stories are their own personal property. It is this deep rooted appeal which has enabled us to put together a dream team to write and stage the musical”.

The internationally renowned and multi award-winning creative team assembled for “MARY POPPINS” is led by stage and film director Richard Eyre. Co-direction & choreography will be by Matthew Bourne, with additional choreography by Stephen Mear. Bob Crowley will design the sets and costumes. Lighting design will be by Howard Harrison, sound by Andrew Bruce, and orchestrations by William David Brohn.

“MARY POPPINS” will include many of the original songs from the film with music and lyrics by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman. The new stage production has been created, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, by Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes who has written the book, and the Olivier award-winning British team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe who have written the new songs and additional music and lyrics.

Pamela Travers was as mysterious, magical and extraordinary as her creation, the practically perfect nanny Mary Poppins. Born Helen Lyndon Goff in Queensland Australia in 1899,Travers became an actress, a journalist, a poet, and, finally, the writer of one of the 20 th Century's most enduring fables. She travelled widely, knew many of the famous characters of her generation and died in 1996 at the age of 96. The books, following her adventures with the Banks family, were published between 1934 and 1981 and have sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into 24 languages.

Diana Rawstron of Goodman Derrick, one of the trustees of the estate of the late Pamela Travers, said, “The Trustees are delighted that Mrs. Travers' long held ambition of a stage musical based on her stories about the famous nanny is about to be realised. We are very confident that the collaboration between Cameron Mackintosh and Thomas Schumacher will result in a marvellous show”.

Over ten years ago Cameron Mackintosh was introduced to Pamela Travers and together they talked about her wish for her greatest creation to become a stage musical. ”I was very touched that she entrusted me with the stage rights to her books, but equally aware that the only possibility of making her dream come true would be a real collaboration between myself and Disney, so that we could create a new work out of the original Travers' stories and yet retain the essence of the extraordinary magic of the film. From the outset of my meetings with Tom Schumacher last year, it was apparent that we were both searching for the same show. We very much hope that we will achieve Pamela's dream and create an equally enjoyable, but different, musical “MARY POPPINS” to delight a modern audience”.

It took Walt Disney twenty years to make the film of “MARY POPPINS”, from the time he first tried to secure the film rights to its triumphant premiere in 1964. The film was an immediate and phenomenal success earning universal acclaim for its story-line, score, performances and pioneering mix of live action and animation. The film was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won five, including ‘Best Music', and ‘Best Song' for “Chim Chim Cher-ee” in a score which also included such favourites as “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Feed The Birds” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. “MARY POPPINS” played to an estimated 200 million people when it was released, engendering extraordinary affection in its audiences and has remained one of Disney's most enduring and best-loved films.

Source: Disney/CML
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