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WNYC Host Richard Hake Makes Broadway Debut in ‘Mary Poppins’

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hake out of costume and make-up -- ready for his Broadway debut. Hake out of costume and make-up -- ready for his Broadway debut. (Photo by Michelle Bergmann)

“Mary Poppins” just celebrated a fifth year on Broadway with over 2,130 performances.

Long runs like this aren’t common on the Great White Way these days. But the show has been popular. Worldwide, it’s been seen by 8.5 million people and grossed over $605 million.

“Part of what is attractive for the audience is that they are familiar with what they are going to see,“ said David Schrader, Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Disney Theatrical Productions, which produced “Mary Poppins” on Broadway.

“If it’s Disney, you are going to end up happy,” he added. We sell optimism and in this environment that escaping to a place, that is magical and you’re transported to another place. The overall experience leaves you tapping your toes.”

The producers of “Mary Poppins” gave WNYC’s Richard Hake a unique opportunity to experience that optimism and magic. They transformed him into a Chimney Sweep, as you can see in the slideshow below.   

The wardrobe department at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann/WNYC
The wardrobe department at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
Richard Hake's Chimney Sweep costume ready to be delivered to dressing room.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
Richard Hake's Chimney Sweep costume ready to be delivered to dressing room.
The Banks' family house in 'Mary Poppins on Broadway.'
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
The Banks' family house in 'Mary Poppins on Broadway.'
Richard Hake (at center stage) gets direction from dance supervisor.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
Richard Hake (at center stage) gets direction from dance supervisor.
Hake rehearsing with fellow Chimney Sweeps.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
Hake rehearsing with fellow Chimney Sweeps.
Hake learning his moves on the 'Mary Poppins' set.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
Hake learning his moves on the 'Mary Poppins' set.
Hake learns the choreography for the 'Step In Time' number.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
Hake learns the choreography for the 'Step In Time' number.
Hake practices taking his final salute to the audience.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
Hake practices taking his final salute to the audience.
Richard Hake's dressing room.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
Richard Hake's dressing room.
Hake out of costume and make-up -- ready for his Broadway debut.
Photo by Michelle Bergmann
Hake out of costume and make-up -- ready for his Broadway debut.

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