MARY POPPINS on the Road

Uploaded by DisneyOnBroadway on 17.04.2009

That's when we step in, step in time. That's when we step, step step, in time.
Never need a reason, never need a rhyme. That's when we step in, step in time.
Here we go!
One of the most important things about taking a big show on tour
is you want to capture the original Broadway magic of the show.
And long ago, when a show would open on Broadway, the great stars of the show
would go on tour with the show. And that hasn't happened for many many years.
But Gavin Lee, who created the original role of Bert in the West End
and then created it on Broadway, is touring the show.
And then Ashley Brown, who was our Mary Poppins originally on Broadway
is touring too. So Gavin and Ashley really anchor the show.
Both with all the experience they have from Broadway but also they're just extraordinary talents.
Gavin Lee: We both have been playing the roles for two years on Broadway
and so it was fabulous when Disney and Cameron Mackintosh offered us the tour
to play the same roles and to get to tour the whole country,
Because it just brings something new for us.
Ashley Brown: We feel so strongly about the story we're telling every night
that it's really exciting to travel and get to share it with everybody in all of the different audiences.
It's going to be great to get to see how everybody reacts to it.
It's a mammoth undertaking, but obviously a very exciting one.
And it takes sort of a whole army of people to get to the point where we are right now in rehearsal.
The cast and the creative team working with the cast.
And in the theater there is a whole army of people there who are working away on the show.
You know there are hundreds and hundreds of people involved in it.
We have to construct a three-story house on stage every night, so it has to be portable.
So the trick of Bob Crowley's design here is that we get the full house that you have on Broadway
but in a very different, very clever way. It is almost like a pop-up book.
The house unit travels in three pieces in a 53-foot tractor trailer.
I think that the biggest challenge for this show is that there are a lot of large pieces to get through relatively small doors.
To create the Banks' house we have several pieces of scenery.
We have the main rolling house unit that is the main interior and exterior of the house.
We have the kitchen. This whole kitchen is one series of effects.
Because we have a little bit of a disaster in the kitchen and Mary Poppins gets to magically restore everything.
And we have the nursery. The nursery flies in and appears on stage after the house disappears.
And so we have the upstairs version on the lower level so you can actually see what is happening.
It's all completely automated.
It has machinery inside of it that rolls it downstage, that rotates it, that opens and closes the doors.
One of the other features of Mary Poppins, of course, is flying.
And the flying has to be created individually for each theatrical space.
Because, like this one, we mostly play in sweet old jewel box theaters
that really weren't conceived for a production this big or for someone to actually be flying over the head of the audience.
Backstage we have about 50 people running the show.
Probably about half of that is wardrobe, hair, and makeup people.
As compared to most musicals out on the road, this one is large.
There are over 200 costumes. That doesn't count the parts and pieces that go with each costume.
I have 8 road boxes for all of my wigs. I could be in by 3:00 in the afternoon for an 8:00 show.
Because we set everything the night before and we come in the next day and comb it out
so it is extremely fresh for every show, like it was the first time it was ever done.
That is where the show is; it is backstage.
All the set, all the costumes, all the orchestra, all the actors,
is virtually exactly the same production, the same production values.
And all the songs everybody knows and all the choreography.
There is something for everybody because it is Broadway coming to you.