The Broadway stage version of Mary Poppins recently closed, but another iteration of the beloved musical will be hitting the big screen on December 13 when the new film Saving Mr. Banks opens. The movie tells the behind-the-scenes tale of Walt Disney’s effort to get the Mary Poppins books made into a movie musical.
As a Disney blurb about Saving Mr. Banks describes it, “When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine.”
Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney, while Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson takes on the role of P.L. Travers, the woman who wrote the original Mary Poppins stories. Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak play the Sherman brothers, the men who wrote the classic score to the Mary Poppins movie.
Three shows are closing on Broadway today. One is Disney’s long-running production of the stage musical version of Mary Poppins. This has been a mainstay for Broadway theatergoers with kids looking for family-friendly entertainment since it opened in 2006. But the show has been on discounts for most of its run, and presumably finally ran out of steam. Mary Poppins‘ exit will make room for Disney’s latest musical adaptation, Aladdin, which will come to the New Amsterdam Theatre in 2014.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the Broadway revival of the Edward Albee classic, is closing after more than five months on Broadway. Starring August: Osage County playwright Tracy Letts and Amy Morton (who actually starred in August on Broadway), the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production enjoyed critical acclaim and a positive audience reception.
The third show to close today is The Other Place, an intimate drama about a brilliant woman and her mental health challenges. The play’s previous Off-Broadway run garnered many accolades for leading lady Laurie Metcalf’s performance, prompting this limited Broadway engagement produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Mary Poppins will be flying away from Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre this March, but the theater won’t be empty for long. Disney’s Aladdin will take over the space in 2014, though exact dates have yet to be announced. The stage version of Aladdin will expand the 1992 film from a slim 90 minutes to a full two-act format. The musical will feature songs from the movie by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice, but there will also be new lyrics and a new book by Chad Beguelin (Elf, The Wedding Singer). Some of the new material was originally developed for the movie, but didn’t make the cut.
Before Aladdin arrives on Broadway, the show will have an out-of-town, pre-Broadway tryout at the Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, playing from November 13, 2013 to January 12, 2014. Aladdin had a “pilot” version at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle in 2011, but Disney has stated that the Broadway version will be a brand new production. Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph Aladdin, and the creative team includes scenic designer Bob Crowley, costume designer Gregg Barnes, lighting designer Natasha Katz, dance arranger Glen Kelly, and musical supervisor Michael Kosarin.
In a time of great change for Disney on Broadway, with eternal favorite Mary Poppins now set to close on March 3, 2013, Aladdin set to open on February 2014, Disney on Broadway announced a temporary price reduction on The Lion King tickets for just 4 performances in February and March 2013. The seats are located in the orchestra and front mezzanine and the normal price for these tickets is $139, so they are clearly a bit of a bargain. As everyone knows, Disney very rarely discounts The Lion King given that it has maintained very strong sales over the years.
With Mary Poppins leaving Broadway, it is anticipated that ongoing demand for The Lion King tickets will rise even further, leading to overall price increases for The Lion King — both for face value tickets and for aftermarket pricing. That means that this Disney offer may be the last time that The Lion King will be this affordable for quite some time. More details about this limited time offer offer can be found at:
Everybody’s favorite nanny is leaving Broadway as Mary Poppins has announced its plans to close on March 3. The Disney musical, which opened on Broadway in 2006, will have played 2,619 performances by the time it closes. And soon it will be seen everywhere when Music Theatre International starts licensing productions throughout North America.
Mary Poppins producer Thomas Schumacher stated that “The show’s extraordinary success is due to the 500 plus actors, musicians and stagehands who have brought the show to magical life on Broadway and, most importantly, to the audiences who have fallen in love with Mary, Bert and the Banks family every night. We thank them and New York for six tremendous years.”
It is expected that Disney plans on bringing yet another of their famous movie properties, Aladdin, to the New Amsterdam Theatre soon. Disney has already debuted their new stage version of Aladdin at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle in a production directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, who helmed Broadway’s The Book of Mormon.