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‘Mary Poppins’ coming to Benedum

December 30, 2010
From staff reports

PITTSBURGH - "Mary Poppins" will be performed Jan. 5-23 at the Benedum Center.

"Mary Poppins," a co-production of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, is based on P.L. Travers' stories and the 1964 Walt Disney film. The stage play features the Academy Award-winning music and lyrics of Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.

The stage production was created by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who wrote the book, and the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who composed new songs and additional music and lyrics.

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ON?STAGE — Caroline Sheen will star as Mary Poppins and Nicolas Dromard will star as Bert in a production of “Mary Poppins” Jan. 5-23 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh.

Original United Kingdom Tour star Caroline Sheen will reprise her role as Mary Poppins, while original Broadway company member Nicolas Dromard will assume the role of Bert.

Sheen makes her U.S. stage debut in the North American Tour. Sheen, who was born in Wales, has appeared on stage in a variety of other leading roles in the West End and United Kingdom 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!"

Dromard was a member of the original Broadway company and recently played the role of Fiyero in the San Francisco production of "Wicked."

Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dromard 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 Sheen and Dromard will be Laird Mackintosh as George Banks. Mackintosh has performed several leading roles in Canada including "The Drowsy Chaperone," "White Christmas," "Arcadia" and "Phantom of the Opera."

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."

Performances in the role of Jane Banks will be alternated between Camille Mancuso and Paige Simunovich. Mancuso's previous theater credits include the national tours of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "White Christmas" and "Little House on the Prairie." Simunovich was last seen on Broadway in "Finian's Rainbow" and in the national tours of "101 Dalmatians," "Wizard of Oz" and "Annie."

Performances in the role of Michael Banks will be alternated between Talon Ackerman and Cade Canon Ball. Ackerman previously appeared in the stage productions of "Disney's Tarzan," "Cats," "The Secret Garden," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Our Town." Ball recently appeared on stage in productions of "Seussical," "A Christmas Carol" and "Sound of Music."

Rachel Izen will portray Mrs. Brill. 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 also appeared in the "All Shook Up" National Tour and Off-Broadway in "Altar Boyz" and "Fame."

Ellen Harvey will play Miss Andrew. 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." The Bird Woman will be played by Mary VanArsdel, who has appeared in productions of "Cole Porter's Paris," "Mass," "Camelot," "110 In the Shade" and "Gypsy." Admiral Boom will be portrayed by Mike O'Carroll, a stage veteran whose past credits include "White Christmas," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Showboat," "Will Rogers Follies," "Henry IV," "Inherit the Wind" and "Ragtime."

Rounding out the cast are Jacob Ben Widmar, Kiara Bennett, Elizabeth Broadhurst, Jonathan Brody, Debra Cardona, Eric Coles, Carol Angeli Dillard, Case Dillard, Elizabeth Earley, Steffi Garrard, Geoffrey Goldberg, Mark Harapiak, Eric Hatch, Garett Hawe, Tiffany Howard, Kelly Jacobs, Sam Kiernan, Stephanie Martignetti, Koh Mochizuki, Michael Dean Morgan, Shua Potter, Nick Sanchez, Q. Smith, Jesse Swimm and Jen Taylor.

Olivier Award-winning director Richard Eyre leads the creative team, with co-direction and choreography by Tony and Olivier Award-winner Matthew Bourne. "Mary Poppins" features set and costume design by Tony 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.

Tickets start at $22 and are on sale for all performances at the Box Office at Theater Square, located 655 Penn Avenue, by phone at (412) 456-6666 or online at

For group ticket sales of 15 or more, call (412) 471-6930.

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