Piggyback on Someone Else’s Publicity

Tonight, Mary Poppins Sing-A-Long opens at Hollywood’s El Capitan for an 11-day run, and just for tonight only, Richard Sherman, one of the composers of the 1964 film’s magical score, including the Oscar-winning song “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” will be a special guest.

You’d never have known it, but the making of this classic family favorite, starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews (who won an Oscar for her role), wasn’t easy. It took Mr. Disney 20 years to persuade P.L. Travers, the Mary Poppins author, to let him put her beloved characters on the big screen — and she had all sorts of stipulations. It’s all covered in the recently released, British Academy Film Awards-nominated Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks.

It’s the right time to screen Mary Poppins in theaters (The Broadway show, which opened in 2006, just closed last year.). Because of Saving Mr. Banks, people have Poppins on the brain. An event that piggybacks on another event, and takes advantage of the existing publicity and audience awareness, might have a better chance of success.


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