Arts & Entertainment

Cast Announced for Paper Mill Playhouse's "Mary Poppins"

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Elena Shaddow to star as Mary Poppins at Paper Mill Playhouse Credits: Paper Mill Playhouse
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MILLBURN, NJ — Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, recently announced the casting for the hit Broadway musical “Mary Poppins” based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film with original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, book by Julian Fellowes, new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and co-created by Cameron Mackintosh. Bank of America is the Major Sponsor of “Mary Poppins.”

Mary Poppins takes the audience on a magical and memorable journey, according to Paper Mill Playhouse.

“It’s an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs, breathtaking dance numbers, and a little bit of magic,” the press release states. “The show received nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including best musical. It’s a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical adventure.”

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Directed by Paper Mill’s Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee, with choreography by Denis Jones and music direction by Meg Zervoulis, the principal cast will feature Paper Mill favorite Elena Shaddow as Mary Poppins, Mark Evans as Bert, Dierdre Friel as Mrs. Brill, Liz McCartney as Bird Woman/Miss Andrew, Adam Monley as George Banks, Bill Nolte as Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman, Jill Paice as Winifred Banks, Blakely Slaybaugh as Robertson Ay, Danielle K. Thomas as Mrs. Corry, and alternating as the mischievous Banks children, Abbie Grace Levi and Madi Shaer as Jane with Maddox Padgett and John Michael Pitera as Michael.

The Mary Poppins ensemble will feature Tim Capodice, Peyton Crim, Mary Beth Donahoe, Adena Ershow, Will Geoghegan, Curtis Holland, Joshua Israel, Madison Johnson, Hannah Jewel Kohn, Robin Lounsbury, Brian Thomas Martin, Andrew Metzgar, Corinne Munsch, Natasha Natraj, Caylie Rose Newcom, Sean Quinn, Drew Redington, Jack Sippel, Bronwyn Tarboton, Clay Thomson and John T. Wolfe.

Performances are set to begin Wednesday, May 24, 2017 for a limited run through Sunday, June 25 at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive) in Millburn. 

“Mary Poppins” will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday.

Performance schedule is as follows:

Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.;

Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.;

Friday at 7:00 p.m.;

Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; and

Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now starting at $30. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted.

Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40-percent discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016-2017 season is sponsored by Investors Bank.

A special autism-friendly performance will also be offered on Friday, June 23 at 1:30 p.m. This performance is designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities, and is planned in cooperation with Paper Mill Playhouse’s Autism Advisory Team.

The theater environment will be altered for this performance, providing a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to all families. The performance itself will be adjusted with special attention paid to lighting and sound. 

Major funding for autism-friendly programs is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by C.R. Bard Foundation, The Karma Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Nordstrom, PSEG Foundation, and Summit Area Public Foundation. For more information on Paper Mill Playhouse’s programs for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, visit www.PaperMill.org/autism.

“Bank of America is committed to supporting arts and culture in our local markets. We are proud to sponsor Paper Mill Playhouse and its production of Mary Poppins. Organizations like Paper Mill Playhouse are helping economies thrive, helping individuals connect with each other and across cultures and enrich societies,” said Robert Doherty, president, Bank of America New Jersey. “Mary Poppins is guaranteed to provide a ‘SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS’ experience.”

The creative team includes set design by Timothy R. Mackabee, scenic coordination by Libby Stadstad, costume design by Leon Dobkowski, lighting design by Charlie Morrison, sound design by Randy Hansen, with hair, wig & makeup design by Leah J. Loukas. The production stage manager is Frank Lombardi. Casting is by Telsey + Company, Rebecca Scholl, CSA.

Purchase tickets here: https://tickets.papermill.org/show.aspx?shcode=c894154a-df69-4cce-a060-acf9bea25681.

Elena Shaddow (Mary Poppins). Broadway: Ottilie in The Visit, Anne in La Cage aux Folles, The Woman in White, Fiddler on the Roof, Nine, Sweet Smell of Success, Les Misérables. London: Magnolia in Show Boat at the Royal Albert Hall. National Tour: Clara Johnson in The Light in the Piazza. NYC: Fanny in Fanny at City Center Encores!, The Bacchae at the Public. Favorite regional: Mother in A Christmas Story (Paper Mill), Lilly in Carnival (Paper Mill), Francesca Johnson in The Bridges of Madison County (Williamstown), Olivia in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ). Recent TV: Conviction, Person of Interest, Time After Time, Sister Sophia in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!. Film: Nancy Meyer’s The Intern.

Mark Evans (Bert). New York/US: The Dreyfus Affair (BAM), Finian’s Rainbow (Irish Rep), The Fix (Signature, DC), The Book of Mormon (tour), Aida (PCLO), Singin’ in the Rain (North Shore). West End: Ghost: The Musical (Piccadilly), Wicked (Apollo Victoria), Spamalot (Palace), High School Musical (Hammersmith Apollo). UK Regional: Oklahoma (tour), The Rocky Horror Show (tour), Seven Brides… (tour). TV/Film: Instinct (CBS), Tower of Silence, Lake Placid 3, Marcaroni, Dead Hungry. Solo Album: The Journey Home (Deluxe Edition) Author: Secrets of Stage Success.

Dierdre Friel (Mrs. Brill). Broadway: Leap of Faith. Film/Television: The Sopranos, A Secret Promise, Pretty Bird (Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee), Evol: The Theory of Love, Little Boxes (Tribeca Film Festival). New York/Regional: Sister Act (Ogunquit Playhouse); Under My Skin (The Little Shubert); Oliver! (Paper Mill Playhouse); Golden Age (MTC); Dogfight (Second Stage); Doubt, Tennessee Playboy, Masquerade (Triad Stage); Lighter (NYMF); Over the Tavern (Portland Stage); Cinderella (Arkansas Rep); Zorba (Berkshire Theatre Festival); King Lear, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, London. 

Liz McCartney (Bird Woman, Miss Andrew) recently played Mrs./Harriet in the revival of Sunday in the Park with George with Jake Gyllenhaal, and she appeared in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater at City Center. She played the Fairy Godmother in Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella after appearing in the Cinderella-story Ever After at Paper Mill Playhouse. Broadway: Annie, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, Mamma Mia!, The Dance of the Vampires, Taboo. Tours: Wicked, The Little Mermaid (also Paper Mill), Les Misérables, Phantom. Regional: Sweeney Todd, Souvenir, Working, Pirates! (at Paper Mill). TV: Liz is the creator of the upcoming series What the?. 

Adam Monley (George Banks) appeared at Paper Mill Playhouse as Curly in Oklahoma! and Romeo in Romeo and Bernadette. Broadway: Les Misérables revival (Javert, Bishop of Digne), Mamma Mia! (original Broadway cast). National Tours: Phantom of the Opera (Raoul), Deaf West’s Big River (Mark Twain/Voice of Huck). Regionally he has been seen in such productions as Assassins (John Wilkes Booth) at Milwaukee Rep, Carnival (Paul) at Goodspeed, and most recently Because of Winn Dixie (Preacher) at Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Bill Nolte (Admiral Boom, Bank Chairman) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse after appearing as Judge Pitkin in On the Town. His favorite roles are Tony in The Most Happy Fella at Goodspeed (Connecticut Critics Circle Award) and Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at Maine State Music Theatre (BroadwayWorld and Vicki Awards). Recent: Fagin in Oliver! at Pioneer Theatre; Marcus Lycus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Geva Theatre; Major Metcalf in The Mousetrap at Cape Playhouse; Doolittle in My Fair Lady at Pittsburgh Public. Broadway: 11 shows from Cats to The Producers.

Jill Paice (Winfred Banks) returns to Paper Mill for a fourth time! She appeared in A Comedy of Tenors (Mimi), Lend Me a Tenor (Maggie), and White Christmas (Betty Haynes). Broadway/West End: An American in Paris (Milo), Matilda (Miss Honey), The 39 Steps, Curtains (Niki), The Woman in White (Laura), Gone with the Wind (Scarlett). Other fun stuff: Death Takes a Holiday (Grazia), Company (Susan, NY Philharmonic/PBS), Titanic (Caroline, Avery Fisher), Chess (Florence, Signature), Little Night Music (Anne, Roundabout), Mamma Mia! (Sophie, Las Vegas), Les Misérables. TV: Elementary, White Collar, Person of Interest, Unforgettable, Beautiful Life. Graduate of Baldwin Wallace University.

Blakely Slaybaugh (Robertson Ay). Paper Mill debut! Blakely swings into Poppins directly from the original Broadway cast of Paramour. Prior to that he was seen around the country in the first national tours of Shrek: The Musical as Pinocchio and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella as the Raccoon/Jean-Michel u/s. Various other credits include Oklahoma! (Slim), Seussical (Wickersham), A Funny Thing…Forum (Protean/Hysterium u/s), Guys and Dolls (Rusty Charlie), All Shook Up (Dean), and Biloxi Blues (Eugene).

Danielle K. Thomas (Mrs. Corry) is currently appearing in Avenue Q as Gary Coleman. Broadway/Off Broadway: Avenue Q. National/European Tours: Avenue Q, Hair, Cinderella. Europe: Little Shop of Horrors, Jesus Christ Superstar. Regional: Caroline, or Change; Suessical; Crowns; Big River. Film/TV: Crooklyn, Pop Foul (Bend Film Festival Best Supporting Actress), Rescue Me, Smash, NYC 22, The Michael J. Fox Show, The Affair, Deadbeat, Benders, Jessica Jones. Proud member of Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Abbie Grace Levi (Jane Banks) makes her professional debut in Mary Poppins. Abbie Grace has had a lifelong passion for singing and has appeared in many shows, including performances in her native England.

Maddox Padgett (Michael Banks), 11 years old from Tampa, Florida, is making his Paper Mill debut! Recent credits: Beauty and the Beast (Chip), Iceploration at Busch Gardens (Austin), Into the Woods (Jack).

John Michael Pitera (Michael Banks) is appearing for the first time at Paper Mill Playhouse. He recently toured the country as Les in Disney’s Newsies.

Madi Shaer (Jane Banks) makes her debut at Paper Mill Playhouse. Regional: Billy Elliot, A Christmas Carol, Carousel. Favorite roles: Young Cosette in Les Misérables and Brigitta in The Sound of Music.

Mark S. Hoebee (Director, Producing Artistic Director) joined the artistic team at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2000. Under his leadership, Paper Mill was presented with the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award; launched the American premiere of the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables in 2010, working alongside Cameron Mackintosh; and was home to the world premieres of Newsies in 2011, in partnership with Disney Theatrical Productions, Honeymoon in Vegas in 2013, Ever After and Bandstand in 2015, and A Bronx Tale in 2016. Paper Mill also hosted the American premiere of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and recently launched the national tour of The Bodyguard starring Deborah Cox. On Broadway, Mark directed the Actors Fund benefit of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Jennifer Hudson. He has directed national tours of Victor/Victoria starring Toni Tennille, Dreamgirls, Company, and An Evening of Lerner and Loewe starring Diahann Carroll. Directing credits at Paper Mill include West Side Story; Dreamgirls; Hello, Dolly! starring Tovah Feldshuh; Harold and Maude: The Musical with Estelle Parsons; Meet Me in St. Louis; The King and I; Miss Saigon; Disney’s High School Musical; Peter Pan; Smokey Joe’s Cafe; Oliver!; Damn Yankees; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Curtains; and The Full Monty starring Elaine Stritch.

Denis Jones (Choreographer) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where he choreographed Honeymoon in Vegas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Damn Yankees, Disney’s High School Musical, The Full Monty, and Meet Me in St. Louis. Broadway credits include Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn and Honeymoon in Vegas. Select credits: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Goodspeed), The Tempest (Shakespeare in the Park); Paint Your Wagon (City Center Encores!), Forum (Williamstown/Two River), Moonshine: That Hee-Haw Musical (Dallas Theater Center), 42nd Street (The Muny), Kennedy Center Honors. Upcoming projects include A Chorus Line (The Muny), Honeymoon in Vegas (Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre), and Crazy for You (Signature Theatre, DC).

Meg Zervoulis (Music Director). Broadway: An American in Paris; Bright Star; A Bronx Tale; Finding Neverland; Matilda; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Something Rotten. Off Broadway: Cagney, Rated P. Broadway-bound and other new works: The Prom (Alliance Theatre), Head Over Heels (NYSAF) and Buñuel (Public Theater). Regional: Bandstand, Ever After, and many more at Paper Mill Playhouse. Meg helms Hotel Elefant, a contemporary music ensemble in NYC. She is also an adjunct professor/music director at Montclair State University. Education: Carnegie Mellon University, Goodspeed Opera House Musical Direction Intensive, and the ASCAP/Marvin Hamlisch Broadway Conductors Program. This year, Meg was also invited to be a member of the Lilly Power Network. www.megzmusic.com

Timothy R. Mackabee (Scenic Design). Paper Mill: Oliver!. Broadway: The Elephant Man (starring Bradley Cooper), Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth (dir. Spike Lee). West End: The Elephant Man. Off Broadway: Guards at the Taj (2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Scenic Design), The Penitent, Our New Girl (Atlantic); Vietgone, Important Hats of the Twentieth Century (MTC); Heathers: The Musical; Luce (Lincoln Center Theater); Gigantic (Vineyard); Much Ado About Nothing (Public). Regional: A.C.T. San Francisco, Ford’s Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Old Globe, Baltimore Center Stage, Denver Center, Portland Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Dallas Theater Center, Syracuse Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Education: North Carolina School of the Arts, Yale School of Drama. timothymackabeedesign.com, @timmackabeedesign

Libby Stadstad (Scenic Coordination) is a New York–based scenic designer. Her recent work has premiered at Williamstown Theatre Festival, 59E59, Westminster Opera College, Ramapo College, Luna Stage, Curtain Call Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. Ms. Stadstad also works as an associate designer for Broadway, national tours, and regional theater. www.libbystadstaddesigns.com

Leon Dobkowski (Costume Design). Paper Mill: A Christmas Story, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Other design credits include The Wizard of Oz, Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, Seussical (St. Louis Theater Circle Award), Tarzan (Judy Award), and Spamalot (all at the Muny); South Pacific (Asolo Rep); The Weir and The Dead, 1904 (Irish Rep); The Little Mermaid and Legally Blonde (Music Theatre Wichita); The Wiz (Maltz Jupiter); Mickey & Minnie’s Doorway to Magic (Disney Live); George M! (Westchester Broadway); Romeo and Juliet (Yale Rep); Peter and the Starcatcher (Weston Playhouse); and Claudio Quest (NYMF, Outstanding Overall Design). MFA, Yale School of Drama. www.LeonDobkowski.com.

Charlie Morrison (Lighting Design). Paper Mill: West Side Story, Elf, Grease, The Little Mermaid, Curtains, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Full Monty, Meet Me in St. Louis, Hello, Dolly! National and international tours: The Little Mermaid, The Producers, Hello, Dolly!, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Miss Saigon, Aida, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Man of La Mancha, Guys and Dolls, Groovaloo, My Fair Lady, The King and I, 42nd Street, The Who’s Tommy, and many others. Regional: Shakespeare Theatre Company (DC), Guthrie, Goodspeed, Seattle Rep, Dallas Summer Musicals, TUTS, 5th Avenue, Kansas City Starlight, Pittsburgh CLO, George Street Playhouse, PlayMakers Rep, Tulsa Opera, and more. Winner of two Helen Hayes Awards (seven nominations). www.cmlighting.com

Randy Hansen (Sound Design). Over a wonderful career, Randy has designed sound for more than 130 musicals and 40 plays. Many memorable moments include working with the opera star Jessye Norman, the Indianapolis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Having recently opened a national tour of The Little Mermaid that is touring throughout 2017, he is thrilled to be back at Paper Mill for Mary Poppins. In New York City he was the president of Audible Difference, Inc., a sound design company that over the past 30 years has served the fashion industry in New York and Paris.

Leah J. Loukas (Hair, Wig & Makeup Design). Paper Mill Playhouse: The Sound of Music, The Little Mermaid, Oliver!, South Pacific, Grease, Elf, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Ever After, A Christmas Story, Million Dollar Quartet. Broadway: Sweat; Oh, Hello; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; The Heidi Chronicles; On the Town; A Night with Janis Joplin; Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike; American Idiot; Irena’s Vow. Off Broadway: The Royale (Lincoln Center); Robber Bridegroom (Roundabout); Taming of the Shrew, Plenty, Sweat, Barbecue, Fortress of Solitude, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Into the Woods (Public/Shakespeare in the Park); Carrie: The Musical; Heathers: The Musical. La Jolla Playhouse: Freaky Friday.

Frank Lombardi (Production Stage Manager).  Recently Million Dollar Quartet (Paper Mill Playhouse).  Broadway:  A Behanding in Spokane, Hamlet (twice, with Jude Law and Ralph Fiennes), Spamalot, Tarzan, Hairspray, The Sound of Music, Steel Pier, The Phantom of the Opera, Passion, Side Show, Footloose, The Red Shoes, The Secret Garden.  Off-Broadway: Plenty (Public).  Regional: Camelot (Westport Country Playhouse, CT);  Idaho! (Smith Center, Las Vegas); The Will Rogers Follies (Maltz Jupiter Theatre, FL); world premieres of Catch Me If You Can (Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre) and Randy Newman’s Faust (La Jolla Playhouse); The Lion King (original L.A. company).

Telsey + Company (Casting). Broadway/Tours: Anastasia; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Hello, Dolly!; War Paint; Present Laughter; Come from Away; Waitress; On Your Feet!; Hamilton; Kinky Boots; Wicked; Something Rotten!; The King and I; An American in Paris; The Sound of Music. Off Broadway: Sweeney Todd, Atlantic, Classic Stage Company, MCC, Second Stage, Signature. Regional: Berkshire Theatre Group, Center Theatre Group, 5th Avenue, Goodman, La Jolla, McCarter, New York Stage and Film, Williamstown. Film: Miss Sloane, Into the Woods, Margin Call, Rachel Getting Married, Across the Universe, Camp, Pieces of April. TV: Making History, Julie’s Green Room, One Day at a Time, Hairspray Live!, Conviction, This Is Us, Masters of Sex, Smash, The Big C, commercials. www.telseyandco.com.

Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for “Mary Poppins” on Saturday, June 17, 2017, 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 18, 2017, 1:30 p.m. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes.  There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, June 18, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

For additional information, visit www.papermill.org.

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‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

Could Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational Be on Justify's Agenda?

June 13, 2018

ELMONT, NY — Triple Crown winner Justify came out of his stall to meet the media bright and bouncing on the morning after his gate-to-wire win in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes.

When asked to assess his colt's win, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported, “We were watching replays of the race. He could have gone around again.”

The brilliantly colored ...

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