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. Janet MacEwan, who is the current 'Bird Lady,' shared:
I loved "Mary Poppins" the movie when I was a little girl. I'd sing the Sherman Bros. songs to myself as I played with my beloved Mary Poppins doll - ordered by my mom with cereal boxtops!!! These many years later, Tom Schumacher and the Disney Theatrical creative team entrusted me with the privilege of singing one of the most iconic and beautifully crafted songs in the musical theatre lexicon. They afforded me the honour and thrill of meeting and talking to the great Richard Sherman about that very song. "Feed The Birds" is more than a song, it is a spiritual ideal, and being invited to sing it for thousands of audience members across the US, into Canada and Mexico City, and now on Broadway, has been an artistic experience I will never forget.
My favourite memories are all connected to meeting audience members and hearing their stories. The tiny little child who lisped to me with great concern after the show, "It'th tho cold outthide - where are your birdieth now Lady?" The buxom, perfumed Church Ladies in Philadelphia who embraced me, weeping, and exuberantly praising the Lord. The gentleman who thanked me and held both my hands in his as told me with tears in his eyes, that he sings "Feed The Birds" as a lullaby to his grandchild just as his mother sang it to him when he was a boy. And just a few weeks ago, while collecting for BCEFA, a rosy cheeked 4 year old made her way to me, undaunted by the throng of departing patrons, to stand on tip-toe and whisper in my ear that she loved me, before planting a sweet, moist, child kiss on my little old Bird Lady cheek. So many sweet memories of hugs and kisses and tears; heartfelt expressions of love for one, very beautiful, very memorable song.
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