Mary Poppins Returns with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
In Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, directed by Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure, and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London. The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks, Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks, Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins, and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.
Grammy® and Tony Award®-winner Marc Shaiman and Tony® winner and three-time Emmy® nominee Scott Wittman, who are fans of the unforgettable music from the first film written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, were thrilled to join the team of Mary Poppins Returns. Drawing inspiration from the legendary songwriters, Shaiman crafted a beautiful new score and wrote the music and, together with Wittman, the lyrics for nine all-new original songs.
Marc Shaiman received Tony®, Grammy® and Drama Desk Awards for the musical Hairspray which Scott Wittman co-wrote the lyrics. He has toiled on more than 50 films including South Park, Patch Adams, The First Wives Club, The American President, Sleepless in Seattle, Broadcast News, When Harry Met Sally, Beaches, City Slickers, The Addams Family, A Few Good Men, Sister Act, In & Out and George of the Jungle. He has been nominated five times for an Oscar®. He started his career as vocal arranger for Bette Midler, eventually becoming her musical director and producer. Marc was an Emmy® nominee for writing on Saturday Night Live (the Sweeney Sisters) and is an Emmy Award® winner for co-writing Billy Crystal’s Oscar Medleys. He has been nominated for two Grammy Awards® for his arrangements for Harry Connick Jr., and has worked with many other artists including Peter Allen, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Martin Short and Barbra Streisand.
Scott Wittman teamed up with Marc Shaiman on Broadway for Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, which he also directed, and Catch Me If You Can, which received a Tony® nomination for Best Musical. For their original songs on NBC’s musical drama Smash, Scott & Marc were nominated for two Emmy Awards®, a Grammy® and a Golden Globe®. On Smash they have composed songs for Jennifer Hudson, Uma Thurman, Bernadette Peters, and Liza Minnelli. Their original score for the Marilyn Monroe musical Bombshell was released on Sony Records. Scott co-wrote the lyrics to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory directed by Sam Mendes. For Patti LuPone, Scott has created and directed two Broadway shows, three recordings and three sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts. At La Mama, Scott conceived and directed Jukebox Jackie starring Justin Vivian Bond, Cole Escola, Steel Burkhardt and Bridget Everett.