Mary Poppins Cast Rehearsing at Starlight

CATEGORY: Broadway

Rehearsals began Monday, July 13, for Starlight Theatre’s upcoming production of Disney and Cameron Macintosh’s Mary Poppins. The cast features 34 actors, including 16 who are either Kansas City natives or who now call Kansas City home. In addition, several out-of-town professionals are returning to the Starlight stage after performing here in the past. The show opens at Starlight on Friday night, July 24.

The following are brief bios of the Mary Poppins cast:


(Mary Poppins)
is back at Starlight after playing Maria in The Sound of Music last summer. Broadway: On the 20th Century. Off-Broadway: Pipe Dream & Where’s Charley? at NY City Center Encores! Tours: Annie, The Sound of Music.  Regional: Pirates! (Mabel) at The Muny, The Music Man (Marian) at Geva Theatre, Hello, Dolly! (Irene Molloy) at North Shore Music Theatre, She Loves Me (Amalia) at Infinity Theatre, Arlington world premiere (Sara Jane) at the Magic Theatre.
Broadway/NYC: Young Frankenstein (original cast), White Christmas, Rebecca, Children and Art, Blood Brothers, Allegro, King Kong and Top Hat (developmental labs).  National tours: Crazy for You, Anything Goes, Joseph…Dreamcoat and The King and I. Regional favorites include: Backwards in High Heels (Fred Astaire), The Little Dog Laughed (Mitchell), Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch), Singin’ in the Rain (Don Lockwood), The Wizard of Oz (Tin Man), Annie (Rooster), JC Superstar (Pilate), and My WayA musical tribute to Frank Sinatra.
(George Banks)
is back at Starlight where he began his career as the Taxi Man in Cabaret. James performed the role of George Banks in Mary Poppins on Broadway. Other Broadway and tours: The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1776, City of Angels, A Grand Night for Singing, Once Upon a Mattress, Falsettos, Dancing at Lughnasa, Cats, Joseph…Dreamcoat. Off-Broadway: The Foreigner, First Lady Suite, A Man of No Importance, Bat Boy!, Merrily We Roll Along.
(Winifred Banks)
is back in Kansas City where she last starred as The Witch in Into the Woods at the Kansas City Rep. Broadway: Young Frankenstein (Elizabeth – succeeding Megan Mullally), Urinetown, Ragtime, A Class Act, Titanic, Cyrano. Off-Broadway:  Disaster – St. Marks; Adrift in Macao – Primary Stages (Lortel/Drama League nom.; Barrymore Award); Titanic – Lincoln Center (Alice).
(Jane Banks)
returns to Starlight after her debut as Brigitta in The Sound of Music last summer. She has performed in Billy Elliot at The Muny, The Very Last Green Thing (Lila), Alice in Wonderland, Carmen and Pagliacci at Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Annie and The Wizard of Oz at Variety Children’s Theatre. Fiona’s ideal Jolly Holiday includes swimming and attempting daring feats on her scooter and pogo stick.
(Michael Banks)
is 11 years old and will be a sixth-grader at Plaza Middle School.  Maddox made his Starlight debut as Tom of Warwick in this season’s Camelot in June. Maddox has also performed the Kansas City Lyric Opera’s production of Tosca as a member of the Children’s Chorus and KC Rep’s 2014 production of A Christmas Carol as Peter Cratchit. He loves being a part of Student Council and has a passion for video/ theater production.
(Mrs. Brill)
makes her Starlight debut. Broadway/National tours: Les Miserables (Madame Thenardier), Phantom of the Opera (Wardrobe Mistress/Confidante) and the national tour of Mary Poppins (Mrs. Brill).
(Bird Woman/Miss Andrew)
New York credits: A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden and Soul Doctor off-Broadway. National tours: Mary Poppins (Miss Lark), Guys and Dolls (General Cartwright), and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Mrs. Claus). Television: “Dancing with the Stars” and “Scandal.”
(Robertson Ay)
makes his Starlight debut. Off-Broadway: Judy and Me (St. Luke’s Theatre) and Chautauqua! (Public Theatre). National tour: Seussical (JoJo). Regional: Hello, Dolly! starring Gary Beach and Vicki Lewis (Barnaby, Maltz Jupiter Theatre), The Will Rogers Follies (Gateway Playhouse), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Chip), Cabaret (Emcee) and She Loves Me (Arpad).
(Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman)
a Kansas City native and KU grad has appeared on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres and in feature films and network television. Previous Starlight appearances: Phantom, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, Anything Goes, Cinderella, Xanadu, Aida, Aladdin, Narnia and The Sound of Music. Upcoming: West Side Story for Spinning Tree Theatre.
(Miss Smythe)
is a Kansas City native. Broadway: Les Misérables (Mme Thenardier), Radio City Music Hall: Christmas Spectacular (Mrs. Claus). Off-Broadway: Frankenstein (cast recording); several editions of Forbidden Broadway; title role in Always Patsy Cline; Meet Me in St. Louis; Sessions. Starlight: The Sound of Music, Jesus Christ Superstar.
is a Kansas City native and returns to Starlight after a 15-year hiatus. She has performed in the Chicago, Detroit and Kansas City areas. Favorites include Motherhood: The Musical, The Apple Tree, ILYYPNC, and Into the Woods.
recently danced in the world premiere of Susan Stroman’s internationally directed The Merry Widow (The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center). His training includes Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and an MFA in Dance/Choreography from NYU: Tisch. His favorite credits include Broadway-bound revival of Can-Can (Paper Mill Playhouse), West Side Story (Riverside Theatre) and Aida (Houston Grand Opera).
is a recent graduate of UMKC. Credits: Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Betty Blue Eyes, The King and I (Music Theatre Wichita); HAIR: Retrospection (Kansas City Rep); The Sound of Music (Kansas City Starlight); Violet, A Little Night Music (Spinning Tree Theatre); Hands on a Hardbody (Unicorn Theatre); Carrie: The Musical (Egads!).
is honored to make her Starlight debut. Credits include Hairspray (Amber), You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Sally), Footloose (Rusty), West Side Story (Velma), Zorro (Isabelle, national premiere) and Crazy For You (Polly). BFA in Music Dance Theatre from Brigham Young University.
as (Ensemble)
is a Kansas City native. Regional musical theatre credits include Everyday Rapture (Regional premiere) Cinderella, 1776 and Kiss Me Kate. She has choreographed and performed in numerous industrials with EPIC Innovative Events, Inc. and is the director/choreographer for the Starlight STARS of Tomorrow.
as (Northbrook, Ensemble)
Starlight: Music Man, Narnia, Anything Goes, Cinderella, Footloose. Local: A Christmas Carol, Our Town, The Foreigner, Carousel, Cabaret, Sherlock Holmes (KC Rep); A Little Night Music, Shipwrecked!, Hello Again (Spinning Tree Theatre); Journey’s End, The Mousetrap, The Real Inspector Hound (KC Actors Theatre); Kiss Of The Spiderwoman, Ragtime (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre); Master Of The Universe, Carousel (Living Room) Up next: The Turn Of The Screw  (Spinning Tree). @charlesfugate
(Neleus, Ensemble)
is delighted to return to Starlight. Other credits: Mary Poppins (National tour/SMT Robertson Ay), The Music Man (KC Starlight), A Chorus Line (SMT), My Fair Lady (NSMT), 42nd Street in the round, thrust, proscenium and every other conceivable medium across the country, The Importance of Being Earnest (Pittsburgh Public).
(Neleus, Ensemble)
played Neleus on the tour of Mary Poppins (which came through Kansas City), as well as performing in Aida at Starlight. Leeds was last seen at the Kit Kat Klub at Studio 54 as Bobby/“Two Ladies” Dancer in Cabaret on Broadway. He was Alan Cumming’s understudy and played The Emcee seven times.
(Katie Nanna, Ensemble)
makes her Starlight debut. Other favorite credits include national tour of Oliver!, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Pirates! (St. Louis Muny), Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street (Modesto Performing Arts), Clara in Light in the Piazza (Marriott Lincolnshire), Anything Goes (Marriott Lincolnshire), Cats, Chicago (West Virginia Public Theatre), Company (The Gallery Players) and Allegiance (Pre-Broadway Workshop).
(Mrs. Corry, Ensemble)
Starlight: The Sound of Music, Footloose, Cinderella, Jekyll and Hyde, Camelot, The Wizard of Oz. Twenty-five years of Kansas City credits include leading roles at KC Repertory, New Theatre, American Heartland, Unicorn, Spinning Tree and Chestnut; 20 years of cabarets at Quality Hill Playhouse; and featured soloist with Kansas City Pops Symphony concerts. Up next: Sunday in The Park with George at KC Rep. Private voice teacher, active volunteer with KC Young Matrons and lucky wife of Darold Frenzen.
was last seen at Starlight in The Little Mermaid. Broadway: White Christmas. Recently he was the Young Fool in Big River at Sacramento Music Circus and performed all across the country in The Little Mermaid. Favorite credits include The Music Man (Marcellus – Carbonell Nomination, Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Crazy For You (Cape Playhouse/Maltz Jupiter) and Hello Dolly! (Paper Mill Playhouse).
makes his Starlight debut after growing up in Missouri. Previous credits include Elf: The Musical (National tour), Oliver! (Paper Mill Playhouse), Singin’ in the Rain, Beauty and the Beast, High School Musical (The Muny), The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan (Fulton Theatre), A Chorus Line (John Engeman Theatre), and Music Man, Joseph…Dreamcoat, and 101 Dalmatians (Stages St.Louis).
(Mary u/s, Ensemble)
makes her Starlight. Regional: Maria (Cole Porter’s You Never Know, BWW Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Ellie u/s (Show Boat at Houston Grand Opera) Billie (Nice Work…On Tour promo), and Snake/Angel voice (Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion The Unicorn and Me at Glimmerglass), West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Oklahoma!, Naughty Marietta, Little Shop, Camelot.
(Von Hussler, Ensemble)
has worked extensively with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the Unicorn, American Heartland Theatre, Kansas City Actors’ Theatre, the Coterie and, for the past 10 seasons, with the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. His most recent Kansas City appearances were as Leontes in The Winter’s Tale and as Herr Zeller in Starlight’s 2014 production of The Sound of Music.
is a Michigan native and is making his Starlight debut. Credits include Ensemble in Guys and Dolls (Goodspeed Opera House), Ensemble in On the Town (The Marriott Theatre), Gangster #2 and Dance Captain in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Mike in A Chorus Line (Connecticut Repertory Theatre).
(Park Keeper, Ensemble)
Past credits include performances at Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Arena Stage, North Shore Music Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Maine State Music Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Cape Playhouse. National tours: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Guys and Dolls, and Cats. International credits: West Side Story and soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.
(Policeman, Ensemble)
was most recently seen here with the national tour of Joseph…Dreamcoat (Issachar) last July. Regional: Footloose (Chuck Cranston; Fireside), 9 to 5 (Bob Enright; MGR), Cats (Mungojerrie; WPPAC). Labs: Fighting Gravity (DJ, Sonya Tayeh, Michael Counts), On the Town (Pre Pro, John Rando, Joshua Bergasse). @matthew_tiberi
(Miss Lark, Ensemble)
returns to Starlight for her fourth season having previously appeared here in The Music Man, Anything Goes and Footloose. Regional credits include Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, The Old Creamery Theatre, Maples Repertory Theatre, and USI/New Harmony Theatre. Kansas City: American Heartland Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Quality Hill Playhouse, New Theatre Restaurant, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, and the Chestnut Fine Arts Center.
(Blue Star All-Star Teen Ensemble)
is a junior in high school. She is a cheerleader, member of the yearbook staff, mentor, and on the honor roll. Katie has been dancing since the age of 3 and has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop and lyrical.
(Blue Star All-Star Teen Ensemble)
is a triple threat who returns to the Starlight stage. Credits: Footloose (Starlight), Bring It On (MTKC), Sound of Music, White Christmas (LSHS).
(Blue Star All-Star Teen Ensemble)
is a sophomore at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and has performed at New Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, Theatre in the Park, MidAmerica Nazarene University, and other venues around Kansas City.
(Blue Star All-Star Teen Ensemble)
will be a senior at Olathe South High School and studies dance at Miller Marley. He is a member of Entertainers and MMYB.
(Blue Star All-Star Teen Ensemble)
is back at Starlight stage after playing the role of Louisa Von Trapp in The Sound of Music last summer. She has enjoyed performing at The New Theatre, The KC Rep, The MET and several community theatres around town. She will be a freshman at Shawnee Mission East this fall.