Correction: Lauren Blane is not currently a Glen Ellyn resident.
Glen Ellyn native Lauren Blane will star alongside other highly acclaimed actors in Marriott Theatre's Mary Poppins, opening Wednesday.
Playing Mary Poppins is Jeff Award-winner Summer Naomi Smart (Wicked), with Bernie Yvon (Ragtime, Hairspray) as Bert. Johnny Rabe and Brady Tutton will alternate as Michael Banks.
Blane joins John Reeger, Paula Scrofano, Matthew Crowle, Rebecca Finnegan, Johanna McKenzie Miller, William Carlos Angulo, Jaclyn Burch, Jameson Cooper, Raymond Interior, Ericka Mac, Sam Rogers, Amanda Tanguay, Brandi Wooten and Melissa Zaremba to complete the ensemble.
Musical director and Oak Park resident Michael Mahler will help make some of the most classic songs known to children come to life.
Mahler, 32, is working with Director Gary Griffin, a nine-time Jeff Award-winner, and choreographer Alex Sanchez, a Jeff Award nominee, according to a news release from the Marriott Theatre.
The musical adaptation is based on the original Mary Poppins books and the 1964 Walt Disney movie, said Mahler, a Minnetonka, Minn., native and graduate of Northwestern University.
"It's a really cool piece. A lot of the material (is from the movie) ... And then there are new songs that were written for this show," he said. "They fit in really well with the old songs."
Mary Poppins features a score that includes “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Feed the Birds” and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” by the Academy Award-winners Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman.
The story focuses more on the family and the Banks parents than the beloved Mary Poppins, said Mahler.
"She knows the kids are going to be fine ... The kids have a couple of bad habits ... and she does some magic. But the parents need the most help."
So, it's as much the story of magic as it is the story of Mr. Banks and how he finds that joy in life, "that freedom that's kind of squeezed out of him," Mahler said.
The stage production was created, in collaboration with Cameron Mackintosh, by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes and the Olivier Award-winning team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (new songs and additional music and lyrics).
The performance opens Wednesday, Oct. 30, and runs through Jan. 5. Performance times are 1 and 8 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 and 5 p.m. Sundays.
From Dec. 26-Jan. 5, there will be a special family-friendly holiday schedule. Ticket prices range from $40 to $48, excluding tax and handling fees. Students 17 and under and senior citizen 62 and older receive $5.00 off a full price theatre ticket for Wednesday Matinee, Saturday Matinee, Sunday Matinee and Sunday Afternoon performances.
On Wednesday and Thursday evenings a limited number of dinner theatre tickets are available for $55.00. For Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening dinner reservations in The King's Wharf or Fairfield Inn, call (847) 634-0100. Free parking is available at all performances.
For more information about Mary Poppins, visit the Marriott Theatre website.
Charlotte Eriksen contributed to this article.