Monday, May 08, 2006
Rejoice! Gavin Lee to Cross Atlantic for Mary Poppins on Broadway
Much has been written of late about performers who've originated roles on Broadway making the move to London -- Idina Menzel in Wicked, Ann Harada in Avenue Q, Tim Curry and Christopher Siebert in Monty Python's Spamalot -- but I've just learned that when the curtain goes up on the Broadway version of Mary Poppins, the West End version's Bert will be coming to New York. Gavin Lee, who dazzled London audiences with his amazing, upside-down fancy footwork -- with more than a little assist from the breathtaking master choreographer Matthew Bourne -- was so wonderful that he merited an Olivier Award nomination. I was truly mesmerized by his performance. But then again, the entire production made me feel like a little kid again when I saw the show two Decembers ago.
Cast in the eponymous lead role will be relative unknown Ashley Brown. Yet she's becoming quite the Disney veteran already in her own right. After touring throughout the United States with the Disney songbook On The Record, she moved to Broadway where she's currently playing Belle in Disney's Beauty And The Beast. To be honest, I saw the ho-hum On The Record and don't recall Brown. But her stock within the Disney theatrical organization must be incredibly high if they're willing to thrust her into prominence via this role of a lifetime.
After all, this has just got to be the most eagerly awaited event in the 2006-07 Broadway season. Personally, I can't wait to see it again.
Click here for ticket information (pre-sale begins May 21).
Flashback: Best of 2004-05 (May 26, 2006)
Disney Moves from Continent to Continent (May 22, 2006)