Every month, BookFilter selects the best new theater book, exclusively for Broadway Direct readers.
By Jeff Kurtti
$50, Disney Editions
Disney’s success on Broadway has been remarkable, from its sterling debut with Beauty and the Beast (one of the best scores of all time) to The Lion King and the current blockbuster Aladdin. A little lost amid all the hits (like Aida) and some misfires (like The Little Mermaid and Tarzan)? Mary Poppins. That sterling show is among the 25 longest-running hits in Broadway history! And now a new feature film continues the story.
This coffee table–worthy book by Jeff Kurtti is much more than a visually appealing celebration of the franchise. It covers the history of Mary Poppins in all her incarnations, from the beloved books by the prickly P.L. Travers to the classic feature film that earned Julie Andrews an Oscar to its stage debut in London … and now back again to the silver screen this December with Mary Poppins Returns (costarring Lin-Manuel Miranda)!
Filled with essays and anecdotes by the likes of theater giants Cameron Macintosh and Thomas Schumacher, Disney historians, and many others, it’s the perfect setup for those eagerly anticipating the new movie. And will anyone be surprised if Mary Poppins Returns actually returns the practically perfect nanny to Broadway someday? Hardly.