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  1. #1

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    Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    From Billy Masters gossip column:

    >>Could it be that a certain star is set to revisit one of her greatest successes? That's the word from theater insiders in London who tell me that hush-hush negotiations are ongoing to bring Julie Andrews back to the musical theatre stage - in Mary Poppins! Of course, Julie won't be flying around with an umbrella. Instead, a clever plot has been hatched where Andrews would take on the role of Mrs. Banks (an idea was briefly entertained where Julie would play Poppins' predecessor, wryly called Miss Andrews in the play - but Julie nixed that idea as "undignified"). Should Julie join the show, it would be music to the ears of the producers who hint that without some star power to help the box-office, the musical could shut down in a matter of months. However, Julie's not so keen on a return to London, and, rumor has it, would be far more interested in joining the show when it opens on Broadway this fall.<<

    Merlin notes: This is interesting in that, if true, it would seem the revisionist Poppins has not captured the public imagination at the London box-office in the longterm. I keep reading that they are very worried how it will play here in the States where the movie version is even more revered. Having Julie on board would give it a pedigree and tacit stamp of Walt's approval for the public... Seems to me they should just retool the show more like the film, but that'll never happen.

  2. #2

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    And even more interesting... wouldn't she need to sing? Julie hasn't been able to sing for years. Even she said that her small duet with Raven in Princess Diaries 2 wasn't real singing. If they mentioned a non-singing role, that would've been more believable.

    Unless Mrs. Banks doesn't sing in this version...
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  3. #3

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    It would be very intersting to see her return, but I find it odd that there is such trouble for the show. I've also heard reports that it is doing very well in London. But, I guess it all depends on who has the "inside" info. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    >>And even more interesting... wouldn't she need to sing? Julie hasn't been able to sing for years. Even she said that her small duet with Raven in Princess Diaries 2 wasn't real singing. If they mentioned a non-singing role, that would've been more believable.<<

    Sister Suffragette has been cut from the revisionist musical score. I think they have a replacement song for Mrs Banks, which Julie would probably do Rex Harrison style.

  5. #5

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    There is a song called "Being Mrs. Banks" that has several reprises during the show.

    I can see that the show may be in trouble. We saw it in London in November and I would say that the theater was only 2/3 or so full. There was enough room for us to move about 8 rows closer to the stage.

    But I would say, we will go see this show again. We LOVED it!

  6. #6

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    I also saw Mary Poppins in London. I absolutely loved the show!!! The Being Mrs. Banks numbers are not that difficult. I think Julie could do it justice even with her strained vocal cords.

    I hope the show goes over well in the US. But with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (which I saw in london as well) and Lion King both on Broadway, there is a lot of competition for the kiddie dollar.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is actually closing in the near future. I think the end of January, if I'm not mistaken.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    I imagine the rule that they don't admit younger children (under 8 is it?) to Mary Poppins in London, and that it has been heavily criticzed, in terms of family box-office appeal, for being darker that Walt's film - might not help the grosses much.

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    Aside from being dark, it is a long show with a few slow moving dialogue scenes. I don't think children under 6 could sit through any play this long.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    From what I remember, Mrs. Banks sings more in the play than in the movie. It would be nice if Julie Andrews could do it, but I'm not sure it's plausible.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    Wouldn't Ms. Andrews be a bit too old for the part? After all, the children are either just entering their teens or younger.
    I can understand in the film how Mr. and Mrs. Banks might've waited awhile before starting a family, what with Mr. Banks' ambition of moving up in the bank hierarchy and all. But I think casting Julie, however nice and sentimental that may be, would be pushing it somewhat when it comes to the age difference.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Julie back in Poppins... as Mrs Banks?

    That's one of the more, um, interesting rumors I've ever come across.

    Julie Andrews has no interest in performing in anything 8 times a week, anywhere, let alone a musical. She is now launching her directing career, and would not consider for a moment going into Mary Poppins, besides that she would never be asked to as she is roughly 30 years too old for Mrs. Banks. You can only hide so much onstage.

    Andrews will not be performing in Mary Poppins in London or in NYC.

    The show is underperforming at the box office in London...initially it did very well, but sales have tapered off. It is certainly not a sold out hit there, like Lion King or Wicked is in NYC. The show will be revised to an extent for its Broadway premiere, but I fear that it is too far removed from the film (most Americans have never even heard of the books) to be what will make the mass audiences happy. We'll see.

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