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'Mary Poppins' takes flight on Broadway

Nov. 16, 2006 at 7:28 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- After a successful British run, a stage rendition of "Mary Poppins" has debuted on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

The musical story of a magical flying nanny, "Poppins" has gained acclaim as both a 1964 film and through a London stage production.

With director Richard Eyre at the helm, the New York production began previews Oct. 25 and opened Thursday night -- after ironing out several technical problems that had plagued the elaborate musical, Playbill.com reported.

Ashley Brown reprises the title role she played in London -- a role for which Julie Andrews won the Oscar in 1964. Actor Gavin Lee travels from the London production to continue his role as Bert, played in the movie by Dick Van Dyke.

The movie was nominated for 13 Oscars, including best picture. It won five Academy Awards, including best music score and best original song -- "Chim Chim Cher-ee" -- by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.

The stage production uses both new songs and several songs from the film.

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