Laura’s Poppin onto Broadway
Laura Michelle Kelly, the original stage Mary Poppins, will soon be ladling spoonfuls of sugar over Broadway.
The award-winning actress has been rehearsing with director Richard Eyre in New York. She will resume the famous nanny role on October 12 for a limited run.
Laura Michelle created Mary five years ago at the Prince Edward Theatre, London after try-outs in Bristol.
She won rave reviews for her crisp interpretation of the woman who swoops into Cherry Tree Lane to care for the Banks children. She was based more on the character as written by P.L. Travers than in the movie version with Julie Andrews.
When the time came to open on Broadway, Laura Michelle didn’t go with it. There were rumours of some terrible backstage row involving Laura Michelle and Cameron Mackintosh, who produced the show jointly with Disney, but no one can actually remember what the falling-out was all about.
In any event, it’s a huge deal to get the actress to play Poppins on Broadway now. The NY production is more of an extravaganza than it was in London and not as dark and scary, but after a run of several years it can do with a boost and Laura Michelle is just the woman to provide it.
Next year the actress has a film to make in Australia, plus she’s still involved in the musical version of the romantic movie Ghost.
Warchus were to be found at a theatre in Oxford this week working on illusions and magic tricks. The West End theatre they want, the Palace, is not available (Priscilla the musical is doing well there) and folk can’t see Ghost happening till late 2010 or early 2011.
Meanwhile, it’s obviously a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time for Laura Michelle.
By the way, Mary Poppins will not be her Broadway debut — she played Hodel in Fiddler On The Roof a few years ago.
The bit about the row with Cameron MacKintosh (if true) does explain why Laura hasn't reprised the role when the other Marys (Scarlett, Lisa, Ashley) have crossed productions all over the place.