As the Broadway production of Mary Poppins comes to a close, we asked current and original principle cast members, as well as current cast members who have been with the show since day one, to share with us some memories and tell us what being a part of the magic has meant to them. Gavin Lee, who was the original 'Bert' shared:
Mary Poppins took up over EIGHT YEARS of my life and I will be forever grateful to all the creatives for keeping me around for so long! As well as getting married, having a baby and buying a house during this time, I also got to perform the show in 15 amazing cities, meet so, so many famous people, sing 'Chim chiminy' on the rooftop of Buckingham Palace, dance upside down on 'The Tonight Show' and shake hands with the President at the White House- to name but a few(!) but the absolute highlight has to be FINALLY being able to answer YES when asked in interviews, for over six years, 'have you met Dick Van Dyke? Has he seen the show?' When Poppins landed in LA, Disney very kindly arranged for us to have lunch in the executive dining room at the Walt Disney studio. We chatted for over an hour and then 'Entertainment Tonight' just happened to follow and film us as I interviewed Mr Van Dyke strolling towards the studio where most of the movie was shot, arriving by the plaque on the wall dedicating the studio to Ms Julie Andrews. What a day that was. He was such a gent. He was there on opening night in LA and, later in the run, actually had a small cameo recreating his Bank Chairman role from the movie. We were all in the wings IN AWE!! I had such big shoes to fill when taking on this role for the stage and it was an absolute honor to meet the original , practically perfect Bert.
Oh how I will miss seeing the fabulous lights of Mary Poppins on 42nd Street!!
Mary Poppins will conclude Broadway run at The New Amsterdam Theatre Sunday, March 3, 2013 after 2619 performances and more than six years. With attendance totaling nearly four million guests, the show has been seen by more people in the last six years than any Broadway show except Wicked and The Lion King. Mary Poppins opened on Broadway in 2006, just two years after debuting in London's West End, where it had received nine Olivier Award nominations and won Olivier, Evening Standard and WhatsOnStage Awards. The Broadway production received 25 major theatrical award nominations, winning Tony and Drama Desk Awards.
Mary Poppins will rank as the 22nd longest-running show in Broadway history by the time its run is complete, ranking between Best Musical winners Hairspray and Avenue Q on the list of long runs. For tickets, visit: http://www.marypoppins.com/tickets