A very familiar face returns to ‘Mary Poppins’

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A very familiar face returns to 'Mary Poppins'

No matter how much you like the stage version of  “Mary Poppins,” the original 1964 Disney movie is never far from mind. Which is why the Ahmanson Theatre audience went crazy Friday night when it was told Richard M. Sherman, one of the film’s songwriters, was in the house and went even crazier when it learned Dick Van Dyke, one of the film’s stars, would make a surprise appearance during the show.

The effervescent actor did not portray Bert, the Cockney chimney sweep he made famous. Instead he reprised his other (and less well known) screen role–Mr. Dawes Sr., the crotchety bank president and boss of Poppins’ boss, Mr. Banks. Van Dyke had to cajole Walt Disney into giving him the part because Disney thought Van Dyke–then in his 30s– was too young to be the ancient moneyman. The actor reportedly won him over by acing a screen test, agreeing to portray Dawes for free and making a donation to the California Institute of the Arts, which Disney co-founded.

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Chip is the owner, editor, and writer of Chip and Company. When he is not writing about Disney News or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation.
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