With internationally renowned Director Nigel West and Canadian leading lady Jayme Armstrong already attached to the inaugural production at the new Dunfield Theatre Cambridge, Drayton Entertainment is thrilled make another exciting casting announcement.
"Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey, chim chim cher-ee! A sweep is as lucky, as lucky can be." Broadway actor Mark Ledbetter will sing those iconic words when he takes on the role of Bert, the lovable chimney sweep, in the Drayton Entertainment production of Disney's and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins. Audiences may remember the affable character as made famous by movie star Dick Van Dyke in the original 1964 film starring Julie Andrews.
Ledbetter is a well-established actor, having been on Broadway in the recent productions of A Christmas Story and Anything Goes. He also understudied and frequently performed the role of Bert in Mary Poppins on Broadway for almost two years.
Ledbetter's distinguished career also includes roles Off-Broadway including The Tin Pan Alley Rag with the Roundabout Theatre Company, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Of Thee I Sing with City Center Encores. His first national touring credits include Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone and Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
The accomplished performer also originated the roles of Jimmy and Scooter in the world premiere cast of Irving Berlin's White Christmas and in subsequent years was seen in the Danny Kaye role, Phil Davis, in the San Francisco, Detroit and St. Paul companies. He can also be heard on the show's cast album.
Regional theatre highlights include Leo opposite Patti LuPone in The Kennedy Center production of Marc Blitzstein's opera, Regina, both Tony and Riff in West Side Story at The Human Race Theatre Company and the Pioneer Theatre Company, respectively, CosMo Brown in Singin' in the Rain at NSMT, and Romance, Romance at Paper Mill Playhouse.
In addition to his stage work, Ledbetter's also appeared in the movie version of The Producers with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick among other film and television credits.
Prior to arriving in Cambridge in early February to start rehearsals for Mary Poppins, Ledbetter will participate in a workshop of the new musical The Honeymooners adapted from the classic television series.
In making the announcement, Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment noted, "Mark is a true triple threat - he's an incredible dancer, terrific comedic actor and a fantastic singer. I know audiences will marvel at his charismatic portrayal of this beloved character."
Mustakas also noted that he is continually amazed by the top-notch talent that is attracted to the various productions produced by Drayton Entertainment. "We are so fortunate that many of North America's best theatrical artists want to work us," he says.
Mary Poppins tells the tale of the Banks family and how their lives change after the arrival of a "practically perfect" nanny at their home on Cherry Tree Lane in London, England. The production runs March 6 through April 28.
Tickets for the inaugural 2013 Season have been on sale to the public since January 2nd, and may be purchased online at www.dunfieldtheatrecambridge.com, in person at the Box Office, or by calling (519) 621-8000 or toll free 1-855-DRAYTON (372-9866).