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Have a Jolly Holiday at the Walnut with MARY POPPINS! Now through Jan. 4!

October 20, 2014

Philadelphia, PA: Walnut Street Theatre continues its landmark 206th season with an enchanting production of Broadway’s award-winning family musical, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s MARY POPPINS. Directed by Wayne Bryan, with choreography by Linda Goodrich, MARY POPPINS begins previews on November 4th, opens on November 12th and runs through January 4th on the WST Mainstage.

Based on the classic Disney film, MARY POPPINS is the story of a mysterious nanny who magically appears at the Banks household in Edwardian London to care for Jane and Michael Banks. Adventure abounds as she whisks them away to meet dancing chimney sweeps, shopkeepers and an array of colorful characters. Featuring an irresistible story and a score including the Academy Award-winning "Chim Chim Cher-ee," "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Feed the Birds," "Step in Time" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," audiences will discover a world where "Anything Can Happen!”

MARY POPPINS had its world premiere in London’s West End in December, 2004. The production received nine Olivier Award nominations, winning two, along with Evening Standard and WhatsOnStage Awards. Its Broadway premiere came in October, 2006 and was recognized with eight Tony Award nominations and seven Drama Desk Award nominations. The production ran through March, 2013 with great box office success. The show has been staged across the globe in countries including Australia, Japan, France, Spain, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Mexico, Iceland, Austria and Canada.

Based on P.L. Travers' stories and the unforgettable Walt Disney film, MARY POPPINS the musical features award-winning music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. This team has had a long-term association with Disney having written more than 150 songs for Disney films, TV and theme parks. Among they’re most popular is “It’s a Small World,” which is the world’s most translated and performed song. The Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) wrote the book for the stage production, and the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe composed new songs and additional music and lyrics.

MARY POPPINS marks Wayne Bryan’s Walnut directorial debut. He has directed productions at New York City Center, Ford’s Theatre, Musical Theatre West, Theatre Under the Stars and 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco. At Music Theatre Wichita, where he is celebrating his 27th year as producing artistic director, he has directed more than 35 productions, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and My Fair Lady. His performing credits include Broadway’s Good News!, Rodgers and Hart and Tinytypes, as well as television credits M*A*S*H, American History and Keystone. Linda Goodrich joins Bryan as choreographer and Douglass G. Lutz as music and vocal director. Goodrich has choreographed the European tour of Cabaret and the national tour of Singin in the Rain. Her work has also been seen at theatres including Radio City Music Hall, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House and Music Theatre Wichita. Lutz returns to the Walnut following 9 To 5: the Musical. His additional Walnut credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Elf, In the Heights, Grease, The Music Man, Miss Saigon, Fiddler on the Roof and The King and I.

The Banks’ home on Cherry Tree Lane will fill with hope, wonder and love with the help of our magical creative team. Walnut newcomer J Branson is set designer. His work has been seen on the national tours of The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast, Brigadoon and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Joining him is another Walnut newcomer, costume designer George T. Mitchell, along with lighting designer Paul Black (9 To 5, How to Succeed…), sound designer Ed Chapman (In the Heights), and costume coordinator Colleen Grady (9 To 5, Elf, In the Heights). Flying effects provided by ZFX, Inc.

Lindsey Bliven makes her Walnut debut in the title role, Mary Poppins. She recently performed as the mysterious nanny at the Music Theatre Wichita, following her performance as an ensemble member with the national tour. She has also performed with national tours of A Chorus Line, Oklahoma! and Wizard of Oz. David Elder returns to the Walnut as the charming, dancing chimney sweep, Bert. Walnut audiences will remember Elder from White Christmas, Curtains, 42nd Street, Windy City, State Fair and Phantom. His Broadway credits include Curtains, 42nd Street, Kiss Me Kate, Once Upon a Mattress and Damn Yankees. Jeffrey Coon and Rebecca Robbins join the cast as George and Winifred Banks. Coon returns to the Walnut, where he was last seen as Bert Bratt in How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Robbins has most recently been seen at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre in the cast of The Phantom of The Opera, following her performance as Maude Dunlop in The Music Man at the Walnut.

The Walnut welcomes back Mary Martello as Mrs. Brill after her hilarious performance as Roz in 9 To 5. Bill Van Horn returns as Admiral Boom and the Bank Chairman, having last been seen on Walnut’s stage as Santa Clause in Elf. The Walnut also welcomes back Deborah Jean Templin as Bird Woman, Miss Andrew and Queen Victoria. Templin wowed Walnut audiences as Dolly in Hello, Dolly!, Miss Hannigan in Annie and Fraulein Kost in Cabaret.

The ensemble includes Joey Abramowicz (Elf), Mindy Dougherty (9 To 5), Ellie Mooney (The Music Man), Owen Pelesh (Grease), Jenny Piersol (9 To 5), Kerri Rose (The Music Man), Megan Schmidt (White Christmas), Christopher Shin (Mel Brooks’ The Producers), Cameron Scot Slusser (How To Succeed…), Michael Warrell (How To Succeed…), Minami Yusui (Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I). Joining them are Walnut newcomers Erin Burgmayer, Andrew Eckert, Tyler Foy (Dance Captain) and Andrew Leggieri.

The youngest members of the cast are all local to the Philadelphia area and students of The Theatre School at Walnut Street Theatre. Cameron Flurry (Elf) and Grace Matwijec (The Music Man), both from Newtown, PA, will share the role of Jane Banks. Michael Banks will be shared by Nicky Torchia (The Music Man) of Langhorne, PA and Jacob Wilner of Malvern, PA, making his Walnut debut. The children’s ensemble includes: Sophia Henkel of Philadelphia, PA; Gabrielle Schoener of Chalfont, PA; Julianna Zannikos of Doylestown, PA; Nathan Esser of Blue Bell, PA; Anthony Flamminio of Drexel Hill, PA; Sophia Zalipsky of Huntington Valley, PA; Aren Duffy of Marlton, NJ; Megan Nutt and Marco Porras of Cherry Hill, NJ; Victoria Rose of Northfield, NJ; Giuliana Bruzzese of Voorhees, NJ and Skylar Raye Noyes of Moorestown, NJ.

MARY POPPINS runs at the Walnut November 4 through January 4. This production is sponsored by Stradley Ronon. Media Sponsor is NBC 10. For tickets and information, call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available online 24/7 by visiting or Ticketmaster.