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Watch Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, and More Talk the Magic of Mary Poppins Returns

Before Mary Poppins Returns arrives in movie theatres December 19, take a look at the above featurette, in which the stars and creative team discuss the joy behind bringing the magical nanny back to the screen.

The original Disney film is nearing its 55th anniversary, and naturally, the prospect of returning to that world was daunting. But looking at the source material (P. L. Travers’ series), director Rob Marshall realized: “There was a real sense that there’s so much more story to be told.”

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman have penned a new score for the story—one that star Lin-Manuel Miranda asserts is filled with “incredible, enchanting original music.”


“This is a film with great hope and spectacle,” adds Emily Blunt, who takes on the title role this time around, amid clips filled with laughter, dancing, and dayglow animation. “And it’s moving, so I think it’s a very important film to be making right now.”

The all-star cast of the new movie also features Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, and Dick Van Dyke.

Look Through the Broadway Opening Night Playbill for Mike Birbiglia: The New One

Following an acclaimed, sold-out, and extended Off-Broadway run earlier this summer, comedian Mike Birbiglia’s The New One officially opens on Broadway November 11. The show is playing a limited engagement at the Cort Theatre through January 20, 2019.

Mike Birbiglia: The New One features additional writing by Jennifer Hope Stein and is directed by Seth Barrish. Birbiglia has remained deliberately secretive about the details of the show, explaining that The New One should be discovered in the theatre.

Mike Birbiglia’s The New One is produced on Broadway by Kevin McCollum. This American Life’s Ira Glass is executive producer, Joe Birbiglia is associate producer, and Mike Lavoie serves as production consultant.

Click here to learn more about the show in the Playbill Vault.

Flip through photos of the opening night Playbill below:

So in Love Benefit Will Honor the Late Marin Mazzie

So in Love: A Benefit Concert for the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, presented in honor of late Broadway actor Marin Mazzie will take place November 14 at Birdland Theatre 7 PM and 9:45 PM.

The lineup will include Kelli Rabke (Joseph, Les Miserable), Danette Holden (Annie, Shrek), Todd Buonopane (Spelling Bee, On the 20th Century), Brian Charles Rooney (Pal Joey), Dara Paige Bloomfield (Ragtime), Rachel Zatcoff (Phantom of The Opera, Fiddler), Ben McHugh (Mamma Mia), Maggie Hollinbeck (Once), Adam B. Shapiro (Fiddler on the Roof), Sean Patrick Murtagh, Carly Ozard, Christian Sineath, Les Grant, Graham Keen, Nolan Muña, Caitlin McBride, Edward Miskie.

Directed by Christopher Timson. Musical director for the event will be Garrett Taylor

All proceeds are being donated to The Ovarian Research Alliance, the largest ovarian cancer organization in the world fighting this disease from all fronts: in the lab, on Capitol Hill and supporting women throughout.

There is a $30 cover with a $10 minimum. Visit Birdlandjazz.com.

Playwrights Horizon’s The Thanksgiving Play Extends Off-Broadway

The world premiere of Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, which opened Off-Broadway November 5, has extended its limited engagement at Playwrights Horizons. Performances will now run through December 2, instead of the previously announced November 25.

Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs a cast comprised of Margo Seibert, Jennifer Bareilles, Jeffrey Bean, and Greg Keller.

The play follows a group of well-intentioned white teaching artists as the scramble to create an ambitious, “woke” Thanksgiving pageant.


The production features sets by Wilson Chin, costumes by Tilly Grimes, lighting design by Isabella Byrd, and sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman.

Playbill Vault’s Today in Theatre History: November 7

1904 The timeless anthem “Give My Regards to Broadway” is first sung on the Broadway stage at the opening of George M. Cohan’s Little Johnny Jones at the Liberty Theatre. The story of an American jockey in England runs just 52 performances, but the song lives on.

1910 Opening night for Victor Herberts operetta Naughty Marietta, which runs 136 performances at the New York Theatre, and quickly becomes a theatre staple, enjoying countless tours and three Broadway revivals in the decades to come.

1919 Birthday of Ellen Stewart, whose La Mama Experimental Theatre Club serves as one of the cornerstones of the Off-Off-Broadway movement.

1921 Lisping comedian Ed Wynn earns a nickname with the musical comedy The Perfect Fool, written by and starring himself, which begins a 275-performance run at the Cohan Theatre. Wynn stars in many Broadway productions and films, but is perhaps best known to modern audiences as the giggling Uncle Albert who hosts the tea party on the ceiling in Disneys film Mary Poppins.

1922 Jeanne Eagels creates the role of Sadie Thompson, a prostitute at odds with a jungle missionary, in Rain, based on a W. Somerset Maugham short story. It runs 256 performances at Maxine Elliott’s Theatre. Joan Crawford immortalizes the role on film in 1932.

1934 Opening night of Dark Victory, one of the great weepers in Broadway history, and endlessly imitated. Tallulah Bankhead stars at the Plymouth Theatre as a spoiled heiress who discovers she has just months to live, and must mend her evil ways, live life to the fullest, and make peace with the world before she departs. Bette Davis takes the role in the 1939 film version.

1956 Long Day’s Journey Into Night opens (against late playwright Eugene O’Neill’s wishes) at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The cast includes Jason Robards Jr., Fredric March, and Florence Eldridge, all directed by José Quintero. Variety reports that this play is “a monumental, overwhelming drama, terrible in its ruthlessness, searing in its self-revelation, exalting in its pity and shattering in its impact.” Brooks Atkinson declares that this production helps “acquire size and stature” for the American theatre. The show runs for 390 performances.

1958 The Quare Fellow opens Off-Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre. The show, whose title is slang for “condemned man,” is written by Brendan Behan and stars Liam Clancy. It runs for 126 performances.

1963 The dieting Zero Mostel has forgotten to eat and collapses during the intermission of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He is unable to complete the performance.

1968 Lee J. Cobb stars in King Lear at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The supporting cast is a who’s who of future stars: Stacy Keach, Philip Bosco, Paul Rudd, Charles Cioffi, Rene Auberjonois, and others.

1971 David Rabe‘s Sticks and Bones opens at the Public Theater. David Selby stars as a traumatized Vietnam vet who returns home to his all-American family. The Golden Theatre hosts the show’s move to Broadway in 1972, with Santo Loquasto getting his first opportunity to design a Broadway set. It runs for 121 performances Off-Broadway, and then 246 performances on Broadway.

1996 The Santaland Diaries opens at the Atlantic Theater Company. The play, adapted from David Sedaris’ book, Barrel Fever, features two stories: “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family,” about a housewife who finds her husband’s illegitimate daughter on her doorstep, and “The Santaland Diaries,” describing the experience of working as a Christmas elf at Macy’s. The show runs 63 performances.

2001 Elaine Stritch‘s solo show, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, debuts at the Public Theater to rave reviews. The production moves to Broadway later in the season and wins a Tony Award for Special Theatrical Event.

2003 The song catalog of rocker Rod Stewart forms the basis of a new musical, Tonight’s the Night, which opens at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre.

2004 Howard Keel, 85, the handsome high baritone who sang musical theatre’s great roles in the film versions of Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun, Kismet, and Kiss Me, Kate (and appeared onstage in stock and in the Broadway musical Saratoga), dies of colon cancer in Palm Desert, California.

2011 The first Broadway revival of GodspellStephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak‘s 1971 rock musical that retells The Gospel According to St. Matthew with singing, clowning, improvisation, and numerous topical references—opens at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Daniel Goldstein directs a cast featuring Hunter Parrish, Telly Leung, Lindsay Mendez and Nick Blaemire. It runs for 264 performances.

More of Today’s Birthdays Charlotte Crabtree 1847. Dean Jagger 1903. Norman Krasna 1909. Lindsay Duncan 1950.

Watch highlights from the 2011 Broadway revival of Godspell:

First Look at Lyric Opera of Chicago’s New Production of Siegfried

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Siegfried, the third installment of Richard Wagner’s epic Ring of the Nibelung cycle, opened November 3. Performances continue at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago through November 16.

David Poutney’s new staging stars Burkhard Fritz as Siegfried, Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde, Matthias Klink as Mime, Eric Owens as Wotan, Samuel Youn as Alberich, Ronnita Miller as Erda, Diana Newman as Woodbird, and Patrick Guetti as Fafner. Sir Andrew Davis leads the Lyric Opera Orchestra.

Flip through photos of the production below:

For more information, visit LyricOpera.org.

Broadway’s 31 Longest-Running Shows

With Wicked recently surpassing A Chorus Line to become the sixth-longest running show, and Kinky Boots moving up past Oklahoma!, check out the latest list of long runs on Broadway.

Flip through the 31 longest running shows on Broadway 5 of which are still running today:

Click here to see all Broadway shows that ran 1,000 performances or more.

Bryan Cranston, Kerry Ellis, James Monroe Iglehart, More Honor Armed Forces in New Music Video

In the music video above, stage favorites from New York and London—including Christina Bianco, Sophia Anne Caruso (Beetlejuice), Kerry Ellis (Wicked) James Monroe Iglehart, (Hamilton, Aladdin), Charlie Stemp (Hello, Dolly!, the upcoming Mary Poppins revival), and Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls)—sing their gratitude toward the Armed Forces. The original song “The Hero” was written by the husband-and-wife songwriting duo of Daniel and Laura Curtis.

In addition to the music video, stars such as recent Olivier winner Bryan Cranston (soon to be on Broadway in Network), Whoopi Goldberg, Alan Menken, Matthew Morrison, Paul McCartney, and Stephen Fry recorded words of thanks.

Proceeds from the tribute, released in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I, will go to the U.K. charity Help for Heroes.

“It became quickly clear that people really engaged with the song, which is about a female recruit and her journey,” Daniel Curtis explains. Soon, we had artists from Broadway signing on—we even had to change the name from ‘A West End Tribute’ to ‘A West End and Friends Tribute.’”

For more information and to donate to Help for Heroes, click here.